Thinking Through the Imagination: Aesthetics in Human Cognition (American Philosophy (FUP))
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Use your imagination! The demand is as important as it is confusing. What is the imagination? What is its value? Where does it come from? And where is it going in a time when even the obscene seems overdone and passé?
This book takes up these questions and argues for the centrality of imagination in human cognition. It traces the development of the imagination in Kant's critical philosophy (particularly the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment) and claims that the insights of Kantian aesthetic theory, especially concerning the nature of creativity, common sense, and genius, influenced the development of nineteenth-century American philosophy.
The book identifies the central role of the imagination in the philosophy of Peirce, a role often overlooked in analytic treatments of his thought. The final chapters pursue the observation made by Kant and Peirce that imaginative genius is a type of natural gift (ingenium) and must in some way be continuous with the creative force of nature. It makes this final turn by way of contemporary studies of metaphor, embodied cognition, and cognitive neuroscience.
alternative to a static and conceptual vision of the Kant and the Imagination 47 generalization of judgments: the harmonious sense of aesthetic judgment. Th is imaginative community shares and shapes history. At least for reflective judgments, Kant comes to realize that his hope for a priori certainty is, very literally, a thing of the past. Like history itself, the artistic community provides a certain rendering of what is and subtly directs our attention to what ought to be. Drucilla
pursuit of the truth. This ultimate destiny of opinion is quite independent of how you, I, or any man may persist in thinking. It is thought, but it is not my thought or yours, but is the thought that will conquer. It is this that every student hopes for. It is the Truth; and the reality of this truth lies, not at all in its being thought, but in the compulsion with which every thinker will be made to bow to it, a compulsion which constitutes it to be exterior to his thought. If this hope is
“Will to Believe” and in Dewey’s A Common Faith. Both of these writers stress the continuous relation between mind and matter that abductive processes seem to expose. Dewey’s work, often characterized as “theistic naturalism,” stands as a particularly interesting appropriation of Peirce’s insight into the relation between abductive inquiry and the experience of continuity. Dewey couches this relation in terms of religious attitude. “A religious attitude, however, needs the sense of a connection
process has claimed circuits, they are hard-wired for that sound; so far, neuroscientists have not observed any situations in which the Hebbian process is reversed so that someone born into a sea of, say, Finnish loses the ability to hear Finnish unique sounds.” The metabolic change that occurs is an irrevocable fact that continues to affect—albeit in a dissipating or decaying degree—the future transformations in the neural activation of the system. It is in this sense that neural dynamics are
continue to adapt and “learn,” taking advantage of the latent organizational possibilities of their constitutive systems. This process of “learning” is unique to the particular physical structures of individual brains. Imaginative originality shows itself at multiple levels of analysis: organisms perform new and imaginative functions by virtue of, and in tandem with, the novel neuronal organization that obtains in their physical embodiment. As Jerome Feldman recently wrote, “mental connections