Pleasures of Imagination

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A philosophical poem by Akenside, published 1744; it was completely rewritten and issued as The Pleasures of the Imagination in 1757.

The poem is based on the philosophical and aesthetic doctrines and distinctions of Addison, Shaftesbury, and Hutcheson. It examines the primary and secondary pleasures of the imagination, the first connected with the sublime, the wonderful, and the beautiful, the second with passion and sense. Akenside's speculations range from Platonic theories of form and essence to I. Newton's account of the rainbow.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Mark Akenside (1721—1770) poet and physician

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