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35 - Imagination in Aesthetic Experience

from Part V - Phenomenology-Based Forms of the Imagination

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 May 2020

Anna Abraham
University of Georgia
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Imagination – either explicitly or implicitly – plays an important role in contemporary conceptions of creativity. In contrast, imagination has not been given the same weight in most mainstream modern models of aesthetic experience. I argue that imagination is an important component of aesthetic experience in at least two ways. First, imagination likely guides our search for meaning when interacting with artworks. It can do so by driving our search for the underlying concepts and causes that originated the artwork, as well as facilitating internally generated thoughts. Second, imagination can facilitate transitions from states of uncertainty to states of increased predictability in the course of interacting with artworks. As such, models of aesthetic experience would benefit by explicitly incorporating imagination into their frameworks.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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