Imagination: The missing mystery of philosophy
Imagination: The missing mystery of philosophy

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Imagination: The missing mystery of philosophy

5 Further reading

Stevenson (2003) is a good place to start in clarifying the various conceptions of imagination, but for a fuller exploration, analysing in detail the language of imagination both historically and conceptually, although with many questionable claims, White (1990) can be recommended. Of the other books mentioned in this chapter, Brann (1991) is a superb resource of ideas on the imagination throughout history and in all areas of intellectual life, and Johnson (1987) makes a strong plea for a ‘serious treatment’ of the imagination, although both books arguably work with too romanticised a conception of imagination. Currie and Ravenscroft (2002) develop a more moderate theory of imagination, drawing upon psychology and cognitive science, and according pride of place to what they call ‘recreative imagination’. Engell (1981) approaches the subject from literary criticism rather than philosophy, but offers a rich account of the development of ideas on the creative imagination. Other books that might also be mentioned here are Kearney (1988), which takes a historical journey from ancient times to postmodernism, and Warnock (1976), which offers a lucid and accessible account of Hume and Kant, Coleridge and Wordsworth, and Sartre and Wittgenstein.


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