Inventions of the Imagination: Romanticism and Beyond

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $62.95
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 10%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $62.95   
  • New (3) from $67.09   
  • Used (2) from $62.95   


The dialectic between reason and imagination forms a key element in Romantic and post-Romantic philosophy, science, literature, and art. Inventions of the Imagination, Romanticism and Beyond explores the diverse theories and assessments of this dialectic in a collection of essays by philosophers and literary and cultural critics.

By the end of the eighteenth century, an insistence on reason as the predominant human faculty had run its course, and the imagination began to emerge as another force whose contributions to human intellectual existence and productivity had to be newly calculated and constantly recalibrated. The attempt to establish a universal form of reason alongside a plurality of imaginative capacities describes the ideological program of modernism from the end of the eighteenth century to the present day. Are these two drives actually compatible with one another? Can a universal and monolithic form of reason tolerate the play, flexibility, and unpredictability of imaginative creativity? This collection chronicles some of the vicissitudes in the conceptualization and evaluation of the imagination across time and in a variety of intellectual disciplines, including philosophy, aesthetic theory, and literary studies.

These essays analyze the work of a range of predominately German and British philosophers and poets, including Kant, Hegel, Schiller, Blake, Keats, and Goethe. Together they create a rich and nuanced dialogue on the roles literature, fictions, and works of art in general-understood as products of the imagination-play for and in philosophical systems.

Richard T. Gray is the Byron W. and Alice L. Lockwood professor of Germanics at the University of Washington. Nicholas Halmi is University Lecturer in English Literature of the Romantic Period at the University College, Oxford. Gary J. Handwerk is professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Washington. Michael A. Rosenthal is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Washington. Klaus Vieweg is professor of philosophy at Friedrich Shiller University.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The essays in this volume are clearly written and stimulating, jargon-free despite the sometimes complex material, and the volume has made the transition from a collection of conference papers to a set of polished essays in an exemplary way." -John Guthrie, Modern Language Review
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295990989
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 6/22/2011
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction Richard T. Gray 3

1 Imagination on the Move Wolfgang Welsch 17

2 The Poetics of Nature: Literature and Constructive Imagination in the History of Geology Georg Braungart 26

3 Between Imagination and Reason: Kant and Spinoza on Fictions Beth Lord 36

4 Herder on Interpretation and Imagination Michael N. Forster 54

5 William Blake: Imagination, Vision, Inspiration, Intellect Hazard Adams 68

6 Imaginative Power as Prerequisite for an Aesthetics of Freedom in Friedrich Schiller's Works Wilhelm Voβkamp 77

7 The Gentle Force Over Pictures: Hegel's Philosophical Conception of the Imagination Klaus Vieweg 87

8 The Status of Literature in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit: on the Lives of Concepts Robert B. Pippin 102

9 Difficult Freedom: Hegel's Symbolic art and Schelling's Historiography in the Ages of the World (1815) Tilottama Rajan 121

10 From art to History: Schelling's Modern Mythology and the Coming Community Richard Block 141

11 "To Impose is not to Discover": A Romantic-Modernist Continuity in Contradiction Christoph Bode 159

Biographies of Editors and Contributors 182

Index 187

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)