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Description - Imagination and the Imaginary by Kathleen Lennon

The concept of the imaginary is pervasive within contemporary thought, yet can be a baffling and often controversial term. In Imagination and the Imaginary, Kathleen Lennon explores the links between imagination - regarded as the faculty of creating images or forms - and the imaginary, which links such imagery with affect or emotion and captures the significance which the world carries for us.

Beginning with an examination of contrasting theories of imagination proposed by Hume and Kant, Lennon argues that the imaginary is not something in opposition to the real, but the very faculty through which the world is made real to us. She then turns to the vexed relationship between perception and imagination and, drawing on Kant, Merleau-Ponty and Sartre, explores some fundamental questions, such as whether there is a distinction between the perceived and the imagined; the relationship between imagination and creativity; and the role of the body in perception and imagination. Invoking also Spinoza and Coleridge, Lennon argues that, far from being a realm of illusion, the imaginary world is our most direct mode of perception. She then explores the role the imaginary plays in the formation of the self and the social world.

A unique feature of the volume is that it compares and contrasts a philosophical tradition of thinking about the imagination - running from Kant and Hume to Strawson and John McDowell - with the work of phenomenological, psychoanalytic, poststructuralist and feminist thinkers such as Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Lacan, Castoriadis, Irigaray, Gatens and Lloyd. This makes Imagination and the Imaginary essential reading for students and scholars working in phenomenology, philosophy of perception, social theory, cultural studies and aesthetics.

Cover Image: Bronze Bowl with Lace, Ursula Von Rydingsvard, 2014. Courtesy the artist, Galerie Lelong and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Photo Jonty Wilde.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781138574007
ISBN-10: 1138574007
Format: Paperback / softback
(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 154
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 12-Oct-2017
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Kathleen Lennon

Kathleen Lennon is Professor of Philosophy in the School of Politics, Philosophy and International Studies at the University of Hull, UK. Her most recent publications include the co- authored books The World the Flesh and the Subject (2005) and Theorizing Gender (2002), and the co-edited volume Embodied Selves(2013).

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