The term 'archetype' (from Ancient Greek ἀρχέτυπον = archetype, pattern, model, also original image or idea (Urbild)) was first used
by Plato to refer to the metaphysical forms or ideas, in which the sensible and perceptible things participate.
In modern philosophy, both Locke and Descartes introduced the term as the foundation of representations in our mind:
...dass in uns keine Idee oder kein Bild einer Sache sein kann, von dem nicht irgendwo in uns selbst oder ausser uns ein Urbild (archetypus) existiert,
das alle seine Vollkommenheiten wirklich enthält.
[Descartes: Die Prinzipien der Philosophie, Meiner Verlag, 1992, p. 7]
(...that no idea or no image of a thing can be within us, of which there does not exist somewhere in ourselves or outside
of us an original image or idea (archetypus), which actually contains all of a thing's perfections.)
Immanuel Kant in his seminal work The Critique of Pure Reason, employs the concept of 'archetype' in the sense of a divine understanding
(intellectus archetypus) as opposed to human understanding (intellectus ectypus).
Intellectus archetypus is the divine intuitive understanding (Verstand) through whose self-consciousness also all things and objects
are given at the same time (see CPR B 68, 72, 135, 138 f., 145, 159, 723). Intellectus ectypus, however, is the human, discursive,
non-intuitive understanding (see also Prolegomena §57).
Divinus autem intuitus, qui obiectorum est principim, not principiatum, cum sit indepedens, est Archetypus et propeterea perfect intellectual.
[Immanual Kant: De Mundi Sensibilis Atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis, §10]
(But divine intuition, which is the ground of all things, not something founded, since it is independent,
is archetypal and therefore perfectly intellectual.)
In his lectures of theology, Kant defines God's understanding as intuitive:
It is a limitation of our understanding that we can argue to the particular only from the universal. This limitation cannot in any way be ascribed
to a most real being. Such a being must rather intuit all things immediately through its understanding, and know everything at once.
We are unable to form any concept of such an intuitive understanding, because we can only intuit by means of the senses.
But if follows from God's supreme reality and originality that such an understanding must be present in him...
God knows all things by knowing himself as the ground of all possibility. This is what has been called theologia archetypa or exemplaris...
[Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Philosophical Theology, Cornell University Press, 1978, p. 85 f.]
Karl Jaspers writes about Kant's intuitive understanding:
It is not dependent on intuition. For in thinking it also supplies the intuition, the existence of the object it knows.
To this understanding thinking and intuition are one. As creative understanding, it is the model (intellectus archetypus) in contradistinction
to our reproductive understanding (intellectus ectypus), which is dependent on what is given to it.
[Karl Jaspers: Kant, Harvest Book, 1962, p. 49]
Salomon Maimon introduced the idea of intellectus archetypus or infinite understanding into his version of Kant's critical philosophy:
...the intellectus archetypus, which creates all objects in the very act of knowing them...Once we assume that the understanding creates not
only the form, but also the content of experience, then we also have to postulate the existence of an infinite understanding
that is present within our finite understanding. For it is only an infinite understanding that has the power to create everything that it knows;
experience is plainly given to the finite unders. So, strictly speaking, it is not we who know things in sense experience,
but it is God who knows them through us.
[Frederick Beiser: The Reason of Fate, Harvard University Press, 1987, p. 293 f.]
Fichte went even a step further and believed that we can become like the intellectus archetypus in our thinking:
The more nature is under our control, the more our passive sensibility will disappear, and the more our noumenal and rational nature will grow,
so that we will become more like the purely rational intellectus archetypus.
[Frederick Beiser: >German Idealism, Harvard University Press, 2002, p. 258]
Although Kant's use of intellectus archetypus is primarily as a regulative ideal or for the purpose of illustration and not as a constitutive reality,
the possibility of an alternative way of knowing cannot be absolutely excluded. This alternative way of thinking is, unlike our understanding,
not bound to sense-perception, but it produces its objects by an original intuition.
Kant, too, had recognized the significance of an intuitive mode of cognition which he called intellectus archetypus, the consciousness which apprehends
the essential nature of a thing directly by proceeding 'from the whole to the part'.
[Nigel Hoffmann: Beyond Constructivism: A Goethean Approach to Environmental Education, Australian Journal of Environmental Education, Vol. 10 (1994), pp. 77]
It is to the divine intellect only, to the Supreme Being (Urwesen) that Kant attributes an intuitive understanding,
through he qualifies this by the reservation "as far as we can see". Further, this intuitive understanding is free from the necessity
of knowing by concepts. For Kant then it is only a non-intuitive intellect, that can know by concepts and thus concepts are proper
to thinking that is destring from knowing, i.e. to a mere logical function of the understanding without real content.
[Francis O'Farrell: Intuition in Kant's theory of knowledge: Part 2: Intellectual intuition in Kant's Theory, Gregorianum, Vol. 60, No. 4 (1979), pp. 727 f.]
The concept of intellectus archetypus is similar to my concept of Hyponoesis as it refers
to universal mind or infinite understanding. However, my concept does not imply a divine and transcendent entity nor a divine person, like God, who has an
infinite mind which creates reality through an original intuition. I use the term 'mind' in universal mind only analogously. Reality is not a mind,
which would require some kind of transcendent being.
Similarly, intellectus ectypus is like my concept of Exonoesis,
which is the individual, finite mind of human beings and animals. It is limited to sense-perception and thinking with concepts. However, there is a third component,
Paranoesis, or what Kant and the Romantic philosophers called 'intellectual intuition',
which allows us to go beyond our discursive thinking and reach into the intellectus archetypus or the universal mind, form where we can gain a
direct holistic understanding of reality itself.