Understanding Imagination

Jolanta Żelazna

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/szhf.2013.020

Abstract


Imagination (imaginatio) plays a specific role in Spinoza’s Ethics. Similarly to Epictetus’ φαντασία it is the source of affections of body and mind. Proper understanding of the origins of acataleptic perceptions (Epictetus) and imaginations (Spinoza) together with their interactions enable mind to get free from passive states and to reach happiness. In Ethics imagination can be found wherever images are formed – in eyes, that is in body, whereas in mind an occurrence parallel to affection of optic nerves is a perception, or comprehending an idea. In the article I try to present this “parallelism” of psychophysical occurrences by referring to everyday examples.


Keywords


imagination; fancy; perception; affection; Stoicism; Spinoza; Ethics; passive state; words; notions; reason; understanding

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