29 Apr 2010

The Painter's Secret Science: Summary of Section 1 of Merleau-Ponty's "Eye and Mind

by Corry Shores
[Search Blog Here. Index-tags are found on the bottom of the left column.]

[Central Entry Directory]

[Other entries in the Merleau-Ponty phenomenology series.]

[The following is summary. Paragraph subheadings are my own. The PDF of the text can be found here from Timothy Quigley's course page. His own summary (far better than mine) can be found here.]

Important Points in this section:

- Science does not see that its grounds of knowledge are the scientists' lived bodies that are immersed in the world.

- Painters, however, tend to this bodily ground of our experience, and they can teach us about our immediate physical immersion in the world around us.

Points Relative to Deleuze [to be revised as we learn more. These points are mere speculations.]:

- Deleuze would seem to agree with Merleau-Ponty that painters can teach us about our direct bodily contact with the world. However, Deleuze might find this contact to be grounded in chaos, difference, and shocking disjunctions rather than in harmonious organic cooperation.

The Painter's Secret Science: Summary of Section 1 of Merleau-Ponty's "Eye and Mind"

Section 1

§1 Science Boldly Goes to What Lies in Front of It

Science confronts the world in a certain way. We might admire science's bold, ingenious and active manner of seeing the whole world as a plain object in general. By these means, it manipulates things, although it never lives among them or often come face-to-face with the world as it actually is. (159bc)

§2 Once Science Was Transcendent, Now It is Vagrant

So it seems science treats everything as objects that are immediately available to its understanding. Nonetheless, classical science held onto the idea that the world is somewhat opaque and that its own devices would allow it to return to the world as it actually is. [Because facts about the world are not immediately intuitable, we might wonder how we can be sure of the knowledge that science obtains. For this reason,] classical science then sought a transcendental ground for its investigations (159d). Things are different for the sciences of Merleau-Ponty's time. Scientists believe their activities to be autonomous and they consider their thinking as little more than a 'set of data-collecting techniques' (160a). Thinking, then, is really to test, operate, and transform what is under study. Yet their activities are heavily regulated by experimental controls. As a result, the phenomena that the activities set-up and unfold are really more creations of the experiment rather than natural events that are observed and recorded. "From this state of affairs arise all sorts of vagabond endeavors" (160a)

§3 Nightmare Machines

The sciences operate according to conceptual trends. A concept that is now in fashion will be applied in many different contexts to see what it yields. Yet, scientists will not question how the term really differs from similar predecessors.

So science benefits from its free and fluent use of concepts. Nonetheless, science still must try to understand itself.

Science cannot forget that it is built upon raw human experience of a "brute, existent world" (160bc). Science regards the world as its 'object x' of study and operation. This is the same as saying that science may have an absolute knowledge and that all things in the world are given to us as though they were ready to be analyzed in a laboratory. We can even advance this idea of regarding humans and the world as things we apply operations to. Cybernetics sees human beings as the product of information processes, as if we were like the machines we create. If we take this view which sees even humanity as machinery, then we will enter into "a sleep, or a nightmare, from which there is no awakening" (160d).

§4 The Ghost of Science is Philosophy

Science looks at the world as if from a perch above. And it sees the world below it as an object in general. But instead it must return to what is immediate to it: our lives and bodies which are doing the science, and the relations between our living bodies. In a sense, we enter each other lives, haunting them. And together we haunt a greater whole of existence, of actual Being. If science were to ground itself on this primordial ground (primordial historicity), then it would ground itself in things as they actual are, and it will ground itself in itself. In that way it would become philosophy. (161a)

§5 The Full Innocence of Art

So science neglects the brute meaning of real bodily existence. But art, and in particular painting, draw upon it. And it does so innocently, unlike writers, who take a stance. Unlike with painters, we do not allow writers "to hold the world suspended" (161b). Music has the disadvantage of being unable to depict anything concrete. It is only able to portray "certain outlines of Being - its ebb and flow, its growth, its upheavals, its turbulene" (161b).

§6 The Painter's Freedom

Unlike with other art forms, painters are allowed to view everything without also needing to appraise what they see. Painters do not need to do more than have raw immediate sensuous experiences with the world around them. Their tasks do not involve engaging with political or societal situations. Painters might live solitary lives just to hone their sensitivities. "With no other technique than what his eyes and hands discover in seeing and painting, he persists in drawing from this world, with its din of history's glories and scandals, canvases which will hardly add to the angers or the hopes of man - and no one complains" (161d).

§7 The Secret Science of Painting

Merleau-Ponty now asks, what is the "secret science" of the painter that is fundamental to his art and perhaps to all of culture as well?

Merleau-Ponty. "The Eye and Mind." Transl. Carleton Dallery. in The Primacy of Perception and other Essays on Phenomenological Psychology, the Philosophy of Art, History, and Politics. Ed. James M. Edie. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1964.

Text of the part summarized [obtained very gratefully from Timothy Quigley's course page]:

What I am trying to convey to you is more mysterious; it is entwined in the very roots of being, in the impalpable source of sensations. J. Gasquet, Cézanne

Science manipulates things and gives up living in them.1 Operating within its own realm,
it makes its constructs of things; operating upon these indices or variables to effect
whatever transformations are permitted by their definition, it comes face to face with the
real world only at rare intervals. It is, and always has been, that admirably active,
ingenious, and bold way of thinking whose fundamental bias is to treat everything as
though it were an object-in-general—as though it meant nothing to us and yet was
predestined for our ingenious schemes.
But classical science clung to a feeling for the opaqueness of the world, and it expected
through its constructions to get back into the world. For this reason it felt obliged to seek
a transcendent or transcendental foundation for its operations. Today we find—not in
science but in a widely prevalent philosophy of the sciences—an entirely new approach.
Constructive scientific activities see themselves and represent themselves to be
autonomous, and their thinking deliberately reduces itself to a set of data-collecting
techniques which it has invented. To think is thus to test out, to operate, to transform—the
only restriction being that this activity is regulated by an experimental control that admits
only the most "worked-up" phenomena, more likely produced by the apparatus than
recorded by it.
Whence all sorts of vagabond endeavors. Today more than ever, science is sensitive to
intellectual fads and fashions. When a model has succeeded in one order of problems, it
is tried out everywhere else. At the present time, for example, our embryology and
biology are full of "gradients." Just how these differ from what classical tradition called
"order" or "totality" is not at all clear. This question, however, is not raised; it is not even
allowed. The gradient is a net we throw out to sea, without knowing what we will haul
back in it. It is the slender twig upon which unforeseeable crystalizations will form. No
doubt this freedom of operation will serve well to overcome many a pointless dilemma—
provided only that from time to time we take stock, and ask ourselves why the apparatus
works in one place and fails in others. For all its flexibility, science must understand itself;
it must see itself as a construction based on a brute, existent world and not claim for its
blind operations the constitutive value that "concepts of nature" were granted in a certain
idealist philosophy. To say that the world is, by nominal definition, the object x of our
operations is to treat the scientist's knowledge as if it were absolute, as if everything that
is and has been was meant only to enter the laboratory. Thinking "operationally" has
become a sort of absolute artificialism, such as we see in the ideology of cybernetics,
where human creations are derived from a natural information process, itself conceived
on the model of human machines. If this kind of thinking were to extend its dominion over
humanity and history; and if, ignoring what we know of them through contact and our own
situations, it were to set out to construct them on the basis of a few abstract indices (as a
decadent psychoanalysis and culturalism have done in the United States)—then, since
the human being truly becomes the manipulandum he thinks he is, we enter into a
cultural regimen in which there is neither truth nor falsehood concerning humanity and
history, into a sleep, or nightmare from which there is no awakening.
Scientific thinking, a thinking which looks on from above, and thinks of the object-ingeneral,
must return to the "there is" which precedes it; to the site, the soil of the sensible
and humanly modified world such as it is in our lives and for our bodies—not that
possible body which we may legitimately think of as an information machine but this
actual body I call mine, this sentinel standing quietly at the command of my words and
my acts. Further, associated bodies must be revived along with my body—"others," not
merely as my congeners, as the zoologist says, but others who haunt me and whom I
haunt; "others" along with whom I haunt a single, present, and actual Being as no animal
ever haunted those of his own species, territory, or habitat. In this primordial historicity,
science's agile and improvisatory thought will learn to ground itself upon things
themselves and upon itself, and will once more become philosophy….
Now art, especially painting, draws upon this fabric of brute meaning which
operationalism would prefer to ignore. Art and only art does so in full innocence. From the
writer and the philosopher, in contrast, we want opinions and advice. We will not allow
them to hold the world suspended. We want them to take a stand; they cannot waive the
responsibilities of humans who speak. Music, at the other extreme, is too far on the hither
side of the world and the designatable to depict anything but certain schemata of Being—
its ebb and flow, its growth, its upheavals, its turbulence.
Only the painter is entitled to look at everything without being obliged to appraise what he
sees. For the painter, we might say, the watchwords of knowledge and action lose their
meaning and force. Political regimes which denounce "degenerate" painting rarely
destroy paintings. They hide them, and one senses here an element of "one never
knows" amounting almost to an acknowledgment. The reproach of escapism is seldom
aimed at the painter; we do not hold it against Cézanne that he lived hidden away at
L'Estaque during the Franco-Prussian War. And we recall with respect his "life is
frightening," although the most insignificant student, after Nietzsche, would flatly reject
philosophy if he or she were told that it did not teach us how to live life to the fullest. It is
as if in the painter's calling there were some urgency above all other claims on him.
Strong or frail in life, but incontestably sovereign in his rumination of the world,
possessed of no other "technique" than the skill his eyes and hands discover in seeing
and painting, he gives himself entirely to drawing from the world—with its din of history's
glories and scandals—canvases which will hardly add to the angers or the hopes of
humanity; and no one complains.2 What, then, is the secret science which he has or
which he seeks? That dimension which lets Van Gogh say he must go "still further"?
What is this fundamental of painting, perhaps of all culture?

I. "L'oeil et l'esprit" was the last work Merleau-Ponty saw published. It appeared in the inaugural
issue of Art de Frana I, no. I (January 1961). After his death it was reprinted in Les Temps
Modemes 184-85, along with seven articles devoted to him. It has now been published, in book
form, by Gallimard (1964). Both the Art de France article and the book contain illustrations chosen
by Merleau-Ponty. According to Professor Claude Lefort, "L'oeil et l'esprit" is a preliminary
statement of ideas that were to be developed in the second part of the book Merleau-Ponty was
writing at the time of his death—Le visible et l'invisible (part of which was published posthumously
by Gallimard in February 1964). The translator wishes to acknowledge his immense debt to George
Downing, who spent many long hours working over the final revisions of the translation. Also,
thanks are due to Michel Beaujour, Arleen B. Dallery, and Robert Reitter for their advice and
2. [II est là, fort ou faible dans la vie, mais souverain sans conteste dans sa rumination du monde,
sans autre "technique" que celie que ses yeux et ses mains se donnent à force de voir, à force de
peindre, acharné à tirer de ce monde où sonnent les scandales et les gloires de l'histoire des toiles
qui n'ajouteront guère aux colères ni aux espoirs des hommes, et personne ne murmure.]
3. Cf. Le visible et l'invisible (Paris: Gallimard, 1964), 273, 308-11.-Trans. 4. See Signes (Paris:
Gallimard, 1960),210,222-23, especially the footnotes, for a clarification of the "circularity" at issue here.—Trans.

Self, the Swarm: Summary of §4 'Provisional explanation of the possibility of the categories as a priori cognitions' in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

by Corry Shores
[Search Blog Here. Index-tags are found on the bottom of the left column.]

[Central Entry Directory]
[Kant Entry Directory]
[Critique of Pure Reason, Entry Directory]

Self, the Swarm: Summary of §4: 'Provisional explanation of the possibility of the categories as a priori cognitions' of the 'Transcendental Logic' in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

Immanuel Kant
The Critique of Pure Reason
I. Transcendental Doctrine of Elements
Part 2: Transcendental Logic
Division 1: Transcendental Analytic
Book I: Analytic of Concepts
Chapter II: On the deduction of the pure concepts of the understanding
Section II: On the a priori grounds for the possibility of experience. (as in the first edition)

Important Points in this section:

-The unity of consciousness implies that there is just one overarching experience.

-Empiricism cannot explain such necessary laws as for example causation; for, to regard one impression as associatively following another is to already have an a priori unity of consciousness that makes possible our bringing together those two different impressions in the first place.

Points Relative to Deleuze [to be revised as we learn more. These points are mere speculations.]:

- Kant's unity of consciousness is a form of self-awareness. Yet this implies an internal split within oneself between the self as perceiver and self as perceived. The parts of ourselves that we are perceiving would be internal appearances of ourselves. Internal intuitions are conditioned by the a priori representation of time (for they come in succession). So we could only appear to ourselves if those appearances happened in time. But note two things: 1) This empty form of time is metaphorically like a space or room (an empty vessel) that allows successive mental acts to be brought together. But this bringing together of various actions presupposes there is already a unity of consciousness. 2) For our disjoint self-perception, we need to unify the appearances of ourselves, which also implies a unity of consciousness. For Deleuze this unity of consciousness is a disjunction. So time in its most fundamental form is based on an internal disjunction of ourselves. Time in this way is 'out of joint,' and this disjunct time is also the unchanging a priori (empty form) of time that contains change but does not itself change. As always disjunction, it is always difference. This is one of the ways that for Deleuze, time is derived from difference itself.

Summary of the Prior Section:

When we mentally grasp something, we take it in part-by-part. When counting to ten, we could not have forgotten the nine before arriving at the ten. Likewise, we could not have forgotten the eight before landing on nine. And so on. With each counted number, there is an overall unification of all the preceding parts that compose the object we are grasping. So previously we discussed how when we are mentally grasping (intuiting) an object, there must be a unity not just among the parts of the object but also among the successive mental acts of perceiving this object. Now, in order for all the different acts of consciousness to be united, they must all be the actions of one unified consciousness.

Our successive acts of apprehending an object we sense will each tell us something determinate about that object. We learn bit-by-bit the object's properties. After our imagination synthesizes the parts and comprehends them together into a unified object, we may match the object with its concept in our faculty of understanding. But this concept is not something that has the determinate particulars of our sense perceptions. It is as if our minds know how to select from our synthesized objects what qualifies as being some particular concept, even though that concept does not contain descriptions of the particular determinations of that object we recognize. So our concept for apple, perhaps, would not include all the sense data that we detect when viewing some actual apple. The concept may tell us the apple could be red, green, or yellow, but the actual shade of color that we see in apples is only a part of our perceptions. Our imaginations then work from the perspectives of both our senses and from our understanding at the same time, to keep them in accord. It does so by means of rules telling it both how to organize our partial apprehensions while at the same time telling us how to recognize the object once it is synthesized. So for example, the concept of the triangle tells our imagination that when sensing something whose parts suggest triangularity, to bring those parts together as a triangle. Of course, we don't know at the very beginning that what we see is a triangle. It could be a diamond. Hence this might perhaps be why there is a free play of our faculties. The imagination synthesizes and recognizes according to rules, but it is at the same time free to play around with different possibilities for organizing our perceptions, before finding the right fit.

Our concepts then enable us to recognize all particular instances of apple only because the concept has been stripped of determinations. Kant calls it the object = x. We might regard the object = x in an even more general way. The very fact that while apprehending the world around us, we go about already as though what we see are parts and not wholes. So even before comprehending the parts together to make a whole, we already behave as though we can be sure these parts will make-up some whole. The continuous unity of our consciousness might more properly be called the transcendental non-empirical object = x.

This unity of our consciousness also suggests that there might be some self-same self in us who is one self having many different acts of consciousness. So while viewing the parts of the triangle, we have apprehensions of its parts. But these apprehensions also form representations within us. Thus if we go about mentally grasping things as though there is a pre-given unity to all the different apperceptions, then perhaps it is because part of us in some way is continually aware of the unity of all these acts of consciousness. It would be like an implicit form of self-consciousness. Because it grounds all the various acts of awareness, we might call it the transcendental apperception.

§4: Provisional explanation of the possibility of the categories as a priori cognitions

Because there is this pregiven unity of consciousness, we would say then that there is just one underlying experience, and all our individual experiences are really just parts of this one overarching experience.

Without this unity "it would be possible for a swarm of appearances to fill up our soul without experience ever being able to arise from it" (A111; p.234b). But also, because this unity is what allows us to unify the parts of objects that we apprehend, without it, we would not be able to relate to objects. We would have intuitions without thoughts, but never any cognitions.

Kant now clams that the concepts of understanding (the Table of Categories) are "the conditions of thinking in a possible experience" (A111; p.234c). Because they are the conditions of possibility for cognition, they have a priori objective validity.

These categories enable us to unify and recognize our apprehensions. Hence they depend on the unity of consciousness, "the original apperception, in which everything is necessarily in agreement with the conditions of the thoroughgoing unity of self-consciousness, i.e., must stand under universal functions of synthesis, namely of the synthesis in accordance with concepts, as that in which alone apperceptions can demonstrate a priori its thoroughgoing and necessary identity" (A111-112; p.234-235). So consider our concept of causation. It allows us to unify one appearance with another that follows it. There must be an a priori unity of consciousness holding even before these appearances are synthesized.

[Note how for Hume, the concept of causation is not an a priori concept. We find that one impression often follows another. So when we next have the first impression, we have a strong tendency to call into mind the second one. See this entry for more.] Kant is saying that in order for us to associate two impressions to begin with, there needs already to be an a priori principle of unification that makes the unity possible from the start. And also, we think of causation as applying with necessity. Yet our experiences only tell us about appearances that customarily follow one another, not ones that necessarily follow. Nonetheless, we associate the manifold parts of our apprehensions because within the object we find some kind of affinity between the parts, "by means of which they stand under constant laws and must belong under them" (A113; 235c).

This affinity between apperceptions lies in the fact that they are all shared by one numerically-identical original apperception.

This unity of apperception holds universally for all our apperceptions. Thus it is a rule or law. (if it "can be posited [it] is called a rule, and if it must be so posited, a law"). "All appearances therefore stand in a thoroughgoing connection according to necessary laws, and hence in a transcendental affinity, of which the empirical affinity is the mere consequence" (A113-114; 235-236).

Yet we see then that nature appears to us according to our own subjective laws, and this might seem strange. However, nature is merely a 'sum of appearances', a 'multitude of representations'. The unity of this sum is only possible if there is a unity of our consciousness. If Nature gave herself to us as it is in itself independent of our subjective unity of consciousness, then we would not then consider nature as a unified object to begin with. (A114; 236b)

Summary based on:
Kant. Critique of Pure Reason. Eds. & Transls. Paul Guyer and Allen Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

27 Apr 2010

Updated Deleuze Cinema Movie Lists

[Search Blog Here. Index-tags are found on the bottom of the left column.]

[Central Entry Directory]
[Entry Directory of Blog Announcements]

We have updated the Deleuze Cinema Movie lists. The prior versions listed the movies as they are found in the indexes of the English translations of Cinema I and Cinema II. This new update reflects our effort to locate the movies, and so now there are corrections (both to our prior typographical errors as well as to mistakes in the translations) and there is also additional information included. For example, in many cases the titles are provided in their untranslated form.

9 Apr 2010

The X of Apperception: Summary of §3: 'On the synthesis of recognition in the concept' of the 'Transcendental Logic' in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

by Corry Shores
[Search Blog Here. Index-tags are found on the bottom of the left column.]

[Central Entry Directory]
[Kant Entry Directory]
[Critique of Pure Reason, Entry Directory]

The X of Apperception: Summary of §3: 'On the synthesis of recognition in the concept' of the 'Transcendental Logic' in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

Immanuel Kant
The Critique of Pure Reason
I. Transcendental Doctrine of Elements
Part 2: Transcendental Logic
Division 1: Transcendental Analytic
Book I: Analytic of Concepts
Chapter II: On the deduction of the pure concepts of the understanding
Section II: On the a priori grounds for the possibility of experience. (as in the first edition)

Previously Kant explained certain conditions for us mentally grasping an object. To do so, in the first place there must be some coherence to the object. Its features must be found together in most of its appearances. That way they have a sort of coherence to how they appear. On the other hand, there needs to be a coherent way that we synthesize its parts together into one object. This means that we need already to be geared to bring parts together (to comprehend the apprehensions) in order for us to mentally grasp the object or the concept for it. Thus there must be in the imagination an a priori transcendental synthesis, which we might think-of as our being-geared to bring parts together, or our way of receiving parts as parts that will come to make-up a hole.

§3: On the synthesis of recognition in the concept

[Consider if we are mentally grasping something. For example, we are examining an antique vase. What would happen if each instant we were not aware that what we saw was identical with what we just saw? It would not matter then if we could remember what we saw in previous moments, because we would not have reason to bring them together, to comprehend them as parts of one whole object. So even though we have a common act of gradually perceiving its parts, those parts will not be able to relate to this act insofar as it is an ongoing action. And thus] because there would not be a unity of consciousness of the object, there would then also be no unity to the object itself. "If, in counting, I forget that the units that now hover before my senses were successively added to each other by me, then I would not cognize the generation of the multitude through this successive addition of one to the other, and consequently I would not cognize the number; for this concept consists solely in the consciousness of this unity of the synthesis" (A103; p.230).

To conceive something is to take-in-together and unify a manifold. This requires that there be one consciousness doing so. Concepts, then, require this unified consciousness.

Now we will consider the objects that correspond to cognitions. Things that appear to us are sensible representations. But concepts that we cognize are not appearances or sensible representations in this way. So within conception itself, there are only concepts, and not appearances. Hence the object corresponding to cognition cannot have sensible determinations. It must rather be 'something in general = x' (A104).

Just as a concept for an object has a certain unity, our cognitions of that object must likewise agree with each other.

The unity of the object (X) then is our consciousness' already being geared to organize representations; that is to say, it is the 'formal unity of the consciousness in the synthesis of the manifold of the representations'.

Now let's consider the example of a triangle. We will conceive it as a figure with three lines. This is not only a rule for how to conceive, but also how to recognize it. In fact in an even more profound sense, our imaginations, when perceiving the lines of a triangle, synthesize it according to a rule, namely, that if we see three lines coming together in a triangular way, then we organize and synthesize our apprehensions so that we see a triangle. But this same rule is what our cognitions use to conceive a triangle as a concept. The triangle as a concept is a rule of its composition. Kant writes:

we say that we cognize an object if we have effected synthetic unity in the manifold of intuition. But this is impossible if the intuition could not have been produced through a function of synthesis in accordance with a rule that makes the reproduction of the manifold necessary a priori and a concept in which this manifold is united possible. Thus we think of a triangle as an object by being conscious of the composition of three straight lines in accordance with a rule according to which such an intuition can always be exhibited. Now this unity of rule determines every manifold, and limits it to conditions that make the unity of apperception possible, and the concept of this unity is the representation of the object = X, which I think through those predicates of a triangle. (A105; 231-232)

Hence there is a rule shared by our cognitive faculties and by our imagination that serves to bridge our concepts and perceptions. This rule governs the coherence of the object. The concept for the unity of the object's parts is the object = X. In this case, we are thinking the object = X when we conceive the predicates of a triangle, that is, the rule for synthesizing its apprehended parts.

So, there must be a unity to our consciousness, which allows us to conceive of objects and to comprehend them from our apprehensions. When speaking of a unity of consciousness, we seem to be hinting at a self or a consciousness of oneself. We need some ground for why consciousness is already unified, and this would seem to be explainable in terms of a unified self or self-consciousness that has this comprehensions and cognitions.

We might then think of two sorts of self-consciousness. Consider again when we view a vase or a cathedral. We have a stream of different sensory apperceptions. Likewise, we can sense ourselves and have a stream of inner impressions of ourselves. They would be then empirical apperceptions. But these are variable. They do not by themselves have a unity. Hence there must be a transcendental apperception that provides the ground for all other such apperceptions. For there to be any objectivity unity, our intuitions and conceptions need to be related to such a transcendental apperception.

Kant writes that if our minds could not be aware that there is one same activity that unifies a manifold into one cognition, then our consciousness would not have this unity which we say is the grounds for these other unifications. Kant goes on to write: "the mind could not possibly think of the identity of itself in the manifoldness of its representations, and indeed think this a priori, if it did not have before its eyes the identity of its action, which subjects all synthesis of apprehension (which is empirical) to a transcendental unity, and first makes possible their connection in accordance with a priori rules" (A108; p.233b).

The object = X is a unity. All appearances relate to it, but it never appears to us. And the object = X correlates to our concepts, but we cannot conceive it. It is related to the unity of our consciousness which is the grounds for our perceptions and conceptions to share correlated coherences. This all requires that there be rules for the unifications of appearances. Kant writes regarding the relation between the unity of a manifold of consciousness with its object that
this relation, however, is nothing other than the necessary unity of consciousness, thus also of the synthesis of the manifold through a common function of the mind for combining it in one representation. Now since this unity must be regarded as necessary a priori (since the cognition would otherwise be without an object), the relation to a transcendental object, i.e., the objective reality of our empirical cognition, rests on the transcendental law that all appearances, insofar as objects are to be given to us through them, must stand under a priori rules of their synthetic unity, in accordance with which their relation in empirical intuition is alone possible, i.e., that in experience they must stand under conditions of the necessary unity of apperception just as in mere intuition they must stand under the formal conditions of space and time; indeed, it is through those conditions that every cognition is first made possible. (A109-110; p.233-244)

Summary based on:
Kant. Critique of Pure Reason. Eds. & Transls. Paul Guyer and Allen Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Synthesizing Cinnabar: Summary of §2 'On the synthesis of reproduction in the imagination' in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

Synthesizing Cinnabar: Summary of §2 'On the synthesis of reproduction in the imagination' of the 'Transcendental Logic' in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

Immanuel Kant
The Critique of Pure Reason
I. Transcendental Doctrine of Elements
Part 2: Transcendental Logic
Division 1: Transcendental Analytic
Book I: Analytic of Concepts
Chapter II: On the deduction of the pure concepts of the understanding
Section II: On the a priori grounds for the possibility of experience. (as in the first edition)

§2: On the synthesis of reproduction in the imagination

[Consider how thunder is normally preceded by flashes of lighting. We come to associate the two. So when we see the flash, we then expect the thunderclap.] Kant writes: "It is, to be sure, a merely empirical law in accordance with which representations that have often followed or accompanied one another are finally associated with each other and thereby placed in a connection in accordance with which, even without the presence of the object, one of these representations brings about a transition of the mind to the other in accordance with a constant rule" (A100; p.229). [When our minds think of the lightning, they then reproduce the thunder. Hence] this 'constant rule' is a law of reproduction. But our minds would only associate thunder and lightning, for example, if they appeared together constantly in our experiences. Hence the world around us needs to have a coherence and regularity in order for our minds to have these consistencies in their associations:
This law of reproduction, however, presupposes that the appearances themselves are actually subject to such a rule, and that in the manifold of their representations an accompaniment or succession takes place according to certain rules; for without that our empirical imagination would never get to do anything suitable to its capacity, and would thus remain hidden in the interior of the mind, like a dead and to us unknown facility. If cinnabar were now red, now black, now light, now heavy, if a human being were now changed into this animal shape, now into that one, if on the longest day the land were covered now with fruits, now with ice and snow, then my empirical imagination would never even get the opportunity to think of heavy cinnabar on the occasion of the representation of the color red; or if a certain word were attributed now to this thing, now to that, or if one and the same thing were sometimes called this, sometimes that, without the governance of a certain rule to which the appearances are already subjected in themselves, then no empirical synthesis of reproduction could take place. (A100-101; 229d)

We only perceive appearances, and not things in themselves. In this section, Kant seems to be referring to two ways that the appearances are coherent. As we mentioned above, there needs to be regularities to how things appear to us. Then he discusses another ground for the coherence of objects. We might describe it as our always already being geared to pull parts of apprehensions together into a coherent whole. There is already a synthesis, even before we have experiences.

So perhaps it is not enough that things as they appear to us do so coherently and in regular ways. For it is conceivable that we still just apprehend their parts without putting them together. [Imagine if we have no short-term memory whatsoever. As we look from one end of a giant cathedral to the next, by the time we get to the other end, we have forgotten the beginning, and thus we do not realize the full extent of the structure. In fact, every instant of our viewing the cathedral would yield us just a part that we would regard as the whole. Hence] we must in the first place have some power of reproduction, to maintain the previous parts. But just as importantly, we need already, even before experiencing [the cathedral], to be geared to synthesize the apprehended parts in a coherent way. Since our experiences depend on this comprehension of apprehensions, what we need then, is a pure a priori transcendental synthesis of the imagination to ground the possibility for our experiences.

As we noted, our comprehensions require that we reproduce past apprehensions. Kant writes:
Now it is obvious that if I draw a line in thought, or think of the time from one noon to the next, or even want to represent a certain number to myself, I must necessarily first grasp one of these manifold representations after another in my thoughts. but if I were always to lose the preceding representations (the first parts of the line, the preceding parts of time, or the successively represented units) from my thoughts and not reproduce them when I proceed to the following ones, then no whole representation and none of the previousl mentioned thoughts, not even the purest and most fundamental representations of space and time, could even arise.
The synthesis of apprehension is therefore inseparably combined with the synthesis of reproduction. (A102; p.230)

Summary based on:
Kant. Critique of Pure Reason. Eds. & Transls. Paul Guyer and Allen Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.