Conventional wisdom and commonsense morality tend to take the integrity of persons for granted. But for people in systematically unjust societies, self-respect and human dignity may prove to be impossible dreams.Susan Babbitt explores the implications of this insight, arguing that in the face of systemic injustice, individual and social rationality may require the transformation rather than the realization of deep-seated aims, interests, and values. In particular, under such conditions, she argues, the cultivation and ongoing exercise of moral imagination is necessary (...) to discover and defend a more humane social vision. Impossible Dreams is one of those rare books that fruitfully combines discourses that were previously largely separate: feminist and antiracist political theory, analytic ethics and philosophy of mind, and a wide range of non-philosophical literature on the lives of oppressed peoples around the world. It is both an object lesson in reaching across academic barriers and a demonstration of how the best of feminist philosophy can be in conversation with the best of “mainstream” philosophy—as well as affect the lives of real people. (shrink)
Identification as a psychological concept is widely used in psychology and in social science. This use relies on an ordinary understanding of what identification is, and this understanding has itself been influenced by psychoanalysis. The concept is, however, in need of philosophical exploration. Central to its use is the idea of character, its nature and its development, which like identification itself is under-theorized. I use Richard Wollheim's philosophical analysis of identification in terms of the imagination, to trace a path from (...) ordinary psychology's conception of characterological identification to the psychoanalytic one. I link this to a short discussion of character as a conception of the self available to reflection. Making reference to some psychoanalytic case material, I defend psychoanalysis? version of identification and its applicability in psychology and the social sciences. (shrink)
Pre-Socratic philosophy. - Plato. - Aristotle. - Post-Aristotelian philosophy. - The Theory of art: Quintilian, Longinus, and Philostratus. - Plotinus. - The lesser Neoplatonists. - Neoplatonic views of three early Christians. - Mediaeval descriptive psychology. - The psychology of the mystics. - Dante's theory of vision. - Conclusion.
Remembering a cat sleeping (specifically, recollecting the way the cat looked), perceiving (specifically, seeing) a cat sleeping, and imagining (specifically, visualizing) a cat sleeping are of course importantly different. Nonetheless, from the first-person perspective they are palpably alike. Our first question is.
In the nineteenth century, astronomers thought that a planet between Mercury and the Sun was causing perturbations in the orbit of Mercury, and they introduced ‘Vulcan’ as a name for such a planet. But they were wrong: there was, and is, no intra-Mercurial planet. Still, these astronomers went around saying things like (2) Vulcan is a planet between Mercury and the Sun. Some philosophers think that, when nineteenth-century astronomers were theorizing about an intra-Mercurial planet, they created a hypothetical planet.
This collection presents a broad and compelling overview of the most recent work by a world-renowned figure in contemporary thought. The book is in four parts: Koinonia, Polis, Psyche, Logos. The opening section begins with a general introduction to the author's views on being, time, creation, and the imaginary institution of society and continues with reflections on the role of the individual psyche in racist thinking and acting. The second part is a critique of those who now belittle and distort (...) the meaning of May 1968 and other movements of the sixties as well as the French Revolution. In part three, Castoriadis shows how psychoanalysis, like politics, can contribute to the project of individual and collective autonomy and challenges Lacan, Foucault, and Derrida, and others in his report on 'The State and Subject Today'. Finally he examines how Aristotle's original aporetic discovery and cover-up of the imagination were repeated by Kant, Freud, Heidegger, and even Merleau-Ponty. (shrink)
A blindfolded clairvoyant walks into a room and immediately knows how it is arranged. You walk in and immediately see how it is arranged. Though both of you represent the room as being arranged in the same way, you have different experiences. Your experience doesn’t just represent that the room is arranged a certain way; it also visually presents the very items in the room that make that representation true. Call the felt aspect of your experience made salient by this (...) contrast its presentational phenomenology. Many philosophers have observed that perceptual experiences have presentational phenomenology. In this paper I explore its nature, scope, and significance. I argue that in addition to perceptual experiences, presentational phenomenology can be found in intuitive, introspective, imaginative, and recollective experiences. I also argue that presentational phenomenology is epistemologically significant: it plays a central role in explaining why the experiences that have it justify beliefs and give us knowledge. (shrink)
Many writers have paid tribute to its power: Shakespeare urged his audiences to use it to create a setting; Hobbes asserted that "imagination and memory are but one thing;" for Wordsworth it was "the mightiest leveler known to moral world;" and to Baudelaire it represented "the queen of truth." Imagination as artistic, poetic, and cultural predicate remains one of the most influential ideas in the history of Western thought. It (...) has been simultaneously feared as a dangerous, uncontrollable force, and revered as the supreme visionary power. The questions of its origins, nature, function, and effects have absorbed writers, theologians, and philosophers alike. J. M. Cocking's Imagination shows how these questions have recurred, through the ages and in various cultures. Exploring this theme, from antiquity to the Renaissance, it opens with a discussion of the treatment of imagination in the writings of Aristotle and Plato. Tracing its development in the Middle Ages, Cocking pays particular attention to the parallel tradition in Islamic thought of the period. The book pursues the concept through the theories of Dante and the neo-Platonists, concluding with the High Renaissance. (shrink)
What does it mean to say that imagination plays a role in moral reasoning, and what are the theoretical and practical implications? Engaging with three traditions in moral theory and confronting them with three contexts of moral practice, this book offers a more comprehensive framework to think about these questions. The author develops an argument about the relation between imagination and principles that moves beyond competition metaphors and center-periphery schemas. He shows that both cooperate and are equally necessary to cope (...) with moral problems, and combines insights of different theories and disciplines to explore how this works in practice. (shrink)