Einbildungskraft (imagination) is a multifaceted mental faculty in Goethe’s theoretical writings and poetic works that is non-systematic and rich in aporias. At work in both cognitive processes and artistic production, it becomes a defining concept in Goethe’s creative understanding of natural and aesthetic processes. Einbildungskraft serves as a faculty that presides over nature, the human mind, and the arts as a source of interdisciplinary knowledge. As a pre-noetic power, moreover, it also manifests the poietic force of language. By creatively expanding the Kantian distinction between the productive and reproductive imagination, Goethe theorizes a third kind of Einbildungskraft at work in poetic language with an internal law (Gesetzlichkeit) that “circumspectively surveys” the inner and outer worlds. As a kind of analogical thinking, this “umsichtige Einbildungskraft” (surveying imagination) participates in cognitive processes by actively elaborating thought, affect, vision, and memory. And as an artistic power, it mirrors in metaphorical language the organic forces of nature, which share the same principles of human life: synthesis, expansion, and transformation. According to Goethe, Einbildungskraft is the faculty responsible for shaping perceptual inputs, affects, memories, and mental images into artistic and verbal forms, thereby reconfiguring all the fragmented pieces of existence into an organic system that represents reality in its ontological essence.

Einbildungskraft (Imagination)

Pulvirenti, Grazia
Secondo
;
Gambino, Renata
Primo
2022-01-01

Abstract

Einbildungskraft (imagination) is a multifaceted mental faculty in Goethe’s theoretical writings and poetic works that is non-systematic and rich in aporias. At work in both cognitive processes and artistic production, it becomes a defining concept in Goethe’s creative understanding of natural and aesthetic processes. Einbildungskraft serves as a faculty that presides over nature, the human mind, and the arts as a source of interdisciplinary knowledge. As a pre-noetic power, moreover, it also manifests the poietic force of language. By creatively expanding the Kantian distinction between the productive and reproductive imagination, Goethe theorizes a third kind of Einbildungskraft at work in poetic language with an internal law (Gesetzlichkeit) that “circumspectively surveys” the inner and outer worlds. As a kind of analogical thinking, this “umsichtige Einbildungskraft” (surveying imagination) participates in cognitive processes by actively elaborating thought, affect, vision, and memory. And as an artistic power, it mirrors in metaphorical language the organic forces of nature, which share the same principles of human life: synthesis, expansion, and transformation. According to Goethe, Einbildungskraft is the faculty responsible for shaping perceptual inputs, affects, memories, and mental images into artistic and verbal forms, thereby reconfiguring all the fragmented pieces of existence into an organic system that represents reality in its ontological essence.
aesthetics, imagination, poetic imagination, force, likeness, simile
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/546175
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