Imagination - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Artistic Imagination

One of the most important contributions to the theory of the imagination in the nineteenth century was that of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, put forward in Biographia Literaria and elsewhere. He strongly contrasted the Fancy and the Imagination; the former he defined as "no other than a mode of Memory emancipated from the order of time and place." It operates almost mechanically and is responsible for the production of verse, whereas the Imagination is the source of true poetry. This he divided into two: the Primary Imagination, which is the equivalent of Kant's productive imagination and is responsible for all human perception, and the Secondary Imagination, which is the source of art. Coleridge described the operation of the Secondary Imagination as follows: "It dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to re-create … it struggles to idealise and to unify. It is essentially vital, even as all objects (as...

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This section contains 3,048 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Imagination from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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