David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Sartre Studies International 7 (2):87-111 (2001)
The major thesis developed in Sartre's L'imaginaire is that all imaginary acts can be subsumed under the heading of one "image family" and, therefore, that imagination as a whole can be theorized in terms of pictorial representation. Yet this theory fails to meet the objective of Sartre's study, to demonstrate that imaginary activity is not a derivative of perception but an attitude with a character and dignity of its own. The subsidiary account of imagination in terms of neutralization of belief has the advantage of not being constrained by the requirement that imaginary activity serve a purely reproductive function of bringing an absent "original" into a quasi presence and, thus, leaves room for free creativity and fiction. It also points to a concrete lived experience of alterity at the heart of subjective life where the subject stages its life as if it were the life of an other, putting pressure onto Sartre's contention that the cogito defines subjectivity.
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