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The World, the Flesh and the SubjectContinental Themes in Philosophy of Mind and Body$
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Paul Gilbert and Kathleen Lennon

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748614981

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748614981.001.0001

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Imagination and the Imaginary

Imagination and the Imaginary

(p.46) 3 Imagination and the Imaginary
The World, the Flesh and the Subject

Paul Gilbert

Kathleen Lennon

Edinburgh University Press

In much contemporary work there has been a shift from a conception of the imagination to explorations of the imaginary (or imaginaries). This chapter explores the move from imagination, conceived of as some kind of faculty, perhaps that of creating inner or outer images, to the notion of the imaginary. It suggests that the world – the experiences of which constitute our subjectivity – is an imaginary world and that the embodiment which constitutes our mode of being in that world is an imaginary embodiment. Here the notion of imaginary existence is not, as in many theories of the imagination, to be contrasted with the real, but rather to be taken as the condition for there being a real for us. The concept of the imaginary is offered as a conceptual resource for understanding our embodied subjectivity by interweaving the cognitive and affective forms that our worlds have for us.

Keywords:   imagination, imaginary world, imaginary embodiment, existence

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