Hegel's Theory of Imagination (SUNY Series in Hegelian Studies)
Jennifer Ann Bates
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A comprehensive account of the role of the imagination in Hegel's philosophy.
Filling an important gap in post-Kantian philosophy, Hegel's Theory of Imagination focuses on the role of the imagination, and resolves the question of its apparent absence in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Jennifer Ann Bates discusses Hegel's theory of the imagination through the early and late Philosophy of Spirit lectures, and reveals that a dialectic between the two sides of the imagination (the "night" of inwardizing consciousness and the "light" of externalizing material) is essential to thought and community. The complexity and depth of Hegel's insights make this book essential reading for anyone seriously interested in understanding how central the imagination is to our every thought.
“…it is indispensable reading for anyone interested in Hegel’s account of the role of the imagination in our mental, communicative, and creative lives.” — British Journal of Aesthetics
“This work is a detailed analysis of the role of the imagination in the works of Hegel. One of its major contributions is that it brings to the forefront a relatively neglected issue in Hegel scholarship, as well as casting light on Hegel’s relation to the movements of German Idealism and Romanticism.” — Philosophy in Review
"In focusing on the imagination in Hegel, Jennifer Ann Bates explores a topic which has not received much detailed consideration. Bates presents a careful, close reading of relevant texts, both of Hegel and his predecessors." — William Maker, editor of Hegel and Aesthetics
Einbildungskraft. Einbildung imagination (as false presentation) as in the imaginary, illusion or conceit (In common dictionaries it is misleadingly translated as “imagination” as though it could also mean the faculty of imagination) (It comes up five times in the Phenomenology of Spirit: Miller translates it as “conceit” in the preface, ¶51 [PdG 50] and in ¶382 [PdG xli xlii Key German Terms 284]; as “imaginary” in ¶394 [PdG 292]; and as “imagination” in ¶758, [PdG 551]) Einbilden,
trying to get a handle on (synthesis) is the very thing responsible for our ability to make such a distinction between two names, as well as being that whereby we can name at all. One can’t give a name (or names) to something and hope that that will tell us something about it or about how the process allows us to distinguish things by naming them. That which acquires the name imagination or understanding does so as a result of synthesis; synthesis The Sundering Imagination of the Absolute
universality, we cognize negative universality.9 It might be argued that we cognize this negative difference only by negating positive universality, and thus that our cognition of negative universality relies on positive universality; it relies on the suppression of difference in favor of a positive cognitive concept—even if it is the concept of negation. This is true on an abstract level. Negative and positive universality are the 42 Hegel’s Theory of Imagination same insofar as each has
of the inwardizing imagination; to produce from within outward is to engage in the movement of sublation (Aufhebung), and it is to make actual use of the sublated (aufgehoben) cognitive activities, activities that are hidden in the immediacy of language use. Thus, good communication makes use of the imagination. In one sense it is true for Hegel that we need only look inward to our experience for the true meaning of the words we have learned, allowing our imagination to conjure up representations
individuality: “[I]t is the rise of the individual concrete spirit which is beginning” (Aesth. 650). Hegel explains further: In this way the pyramids though astonishing in themselves are just simple crystals, shells enclosing a kernel, a departed spirit, and serve to preserve its enduring body and form. Therefore in his deceased person, thus acquiring presentation on his own account, the entire meaning is concentrated; but architecture, which previously had its meaning independently in itself as