Imagination and the Imaginary

Paul Gilbert and Kathleen Lennon

in The World, the Flesh and the Subject

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780748614981
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652495 | DOI:
Imagination and the Imaginary

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In much contemporary work there has been a shift from a conception of the imagination to explorations of the imaginary (or imaginaries). This chapter explores the move from imagination, conceived of as some kind of faculty, perhaps that of creating inner or outer images, to the notion of the imaginary. It suggests that the world – the experiences of which constitute our subjectivity – is an imaginary world and that the embodiment which constitutes our mode of being in that world is an imaginary embodiment. Here the notion of imaginary existence is not, as in many theories of the imagination, to be contrasted with the real, but rather to be taken as the condition for there being a real for us. The concept of the imaginary is offered as a conceptual resource for understanding our embodied subjectivity by interweaving the cognitive and affective forms that our worlds have for us.

Keywords: imagination; imaginary world; imaginary embodiment; existence

Chapter.  9030 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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