User login

Imagination: A Very Short Introduction [#740]
Imagination: A Very Short Introduction [#740]
  • Identifies multiple modes of imagination and explores creativity as their material or communicative manifestation
  • Explains the philosophy of imagination from ancient Greek philosophy to contemporary cognitive theory
  • Includes methodological perspectives from across disciplines, including phenomenology and cognitive theory, evolutionary theory, philosophy of mind, aesthetics and literary theory, as well as the human sciences
  • Illuminates imagination from prehistoric creativity to modern technological and artistic innovation
  • Engages a broad range of examples from across the arts and sciences, technological invention, and everyday life

Imagination: A Very Short Introduction explores imagination as a cognitive power and an essential dimension of human flourishing, demonstrating how imagination plays multiple roles in human cognition and shapes humanity in profound ways. Examining philosophical, evolutionary, and literary perspectives on imagination, the author shows how this facility, while potentially distorting, both frees us from immediate reality and enriches our sense of it, making possible our experience of a meaningful world.
Long regarded by philosophers as an elusive and mysterious capacity of the human mind, imagination has been the subject of extraordinary ambivalence, described as both dangerous and divine, as merely peripheral to rationality and as essential to all thinking. Drawing on philosophy, aesthetics, literary and cognitive theory as well as the human sciences, this book engages the dramatic conceptual history of imagination together with contemporary explanations of its role in cognition to explain its importance in everyday life as well as the exquisite creativity of the arts, scientific discovery, and invention.
Engaging examples from cave paintings to modern painting, performance art to pop art, physics to phenomenology, technological inventions to literary worlds, the Nazca geoglyphs to dramatic theatre, poetry, and jazz improvisation, the author illuminates with clarity and vision the philosophy of imagination and the stakes of its involvement in human thinking.



1:What is imagination?
2:Imagination in human evolution
3:From divine madness to cognitive power
4:The productive and aesthetic imagination
5:The augmentation of reality
6:Creativity from invention to wonder
References and further reading

About the author: 

Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei is Professor and Kurrelmeyer Chair in German and Professor in Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University. She is author of On Being and Becoming: An Existentialist Approach to Life (Oxford University Press); The Life of Imagination: Revealing and Making the World; Exotic Spaces in German Modernism (Oxford University Press); The Ecstatic Quotidian: Phenomenological Sightings in Modern Art and Literature ; Heidegger, Hölderlin, and the Subject of Poetic Language; and a book of poetry, After the Palace Burns, which won The Paris Review Prize.

Product details

ISBN : 9780198830023

Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei
160 Pages
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Oct 2023
Very Short Introductions
Customer reviews

You may also like

Customer reviews



The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Imagination: A Very Short Introduction [#740]

Imagination: A Very Short Introduction [#740]

Imagination: A Very Short Introduction [#740]