The 'physical prophet' and the powers of the imagination. Part II: A case-study on dowsing and the naturalisation of the moral, 1685–1710

In the first paper of this pair, I argued the importance of theories of the imagination in debates on divination [Vermeir, K. . The ‘physical prophet’ and the powers of the imagination. Part I: A case-study on prophecy, vapours and the imagination . Studies in History and Philosophy of Science C, 35, 561–591]. In the present article, I will rely on these results in order to unearth the role of the imagination in a discussion on dowsing. References to the imagination were often implicit because of its negative associations, but I show in detail how the imagination was used to negotiate between the material and the spiritual, and between the natural, the supernatural and the moral. Natural philosophers, theologians and moralists all struggled for authority over divinatory phenomena. The debate evolved around the questions whether moral states could be naturalised and whether subtle material vapours could have moral qualities
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2004.12.008
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Michael Hunter (1990). Alchemy, Magic and Moralism in the Thought of Robert Boyle. British Journal for the History of Science 23 (4):387-410.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Heidi von Weltzien Høivik (2004). The Concept of Moral Imagination. Journal of Business Ethics Education 1 (1):29-42.
Robert E. Haskell (1985). Dreaming, Cognition, and Physical Illness: Part II. [REVIEW] Journal of Medical Humanities and Bioethics 6 (2):109-122.
Amy Kind, Imagery and Imagination. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

8 ( #276,630 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #183,615 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.