Inventions of the Imagination: Romanticism and Beyond

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295990996
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2011
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (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 Vo╬▓kamp 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

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