Becoming L'homme Imaginaire: The Role of the Imagination in Overcoming Circularity in Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason (Jean-Paul Sartre) (Essay‪)‬

Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 2011, Jan, 7, 1

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Beschreibung des Verlags

Introduction It would not be an understatement to assert that there has been no philosopher in recent memory that prized the powers of the imagination more than Jean-Paul Sartre. (1) A playwright, novelist, philosopher, and social activist, Sartre often blurred the distinction between that which is generally assumed to be 'real' and that which is 'imaginary'. (2) However, it ought not be understood that this ambiguity was a result of confusion or inconsistency in his conceptual framework. That's not to claim that there is a perfect streamline of thought that runs from his early phenomenological works to his later materialist labors, nor is it to assert that Sartre was not continuously in the process of developing his ideas; but rather is set to mean that such a 'blurring' was the de facto result of a thinker seeking to tether two intentions--(1) the liberatory powers of imaginative consciousness and (2) material need. While there are others who have sketched theories utilizing the powers of the imagination in seeking social and political change (e.g. Marcuse), the tendency is for 'secular' theorists to remain skeptical toward the potentiality of the imagination. Such skepticism is not without merit. For those inheriting the legacy of Modernity, there is an inherent discomfort toward that which could be construed as religious or mythical. There is a spectral presence of the West's religious past that continually haunts thinkers today, reminding them that that which once was is not so distant as to be impossible. For Sartre, however, the site of the imagination was a space of indefinite possibility; one that possess a creative power. As Mary Warnock has stated, throughout Sartre's corpus 'he insists that man's freedom to act in the world is a function of his ability to perceive things not only as they are, but as they are not'. If one could not imagine her life other than it is then she would have no capacity to intervene in the world. 'One must have the power of imagining it as well as perceiving it; that is, of imagining it otherwise'. (3)

Religion und Spiritualität
1. Januar
Ashton and Rafferty

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