Imagination allows us to step out of the ordinary but also to transform it through our sense of wonder and play, artistic inspiration and innovation, or the eureka moment of a scientific breakthrough. In this book, Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei offers a groundbreaking new understanding of its place in everyday experience as well as the heights of creative achievement. -/- The Life of Imagination delivers a new conception of imagination that places it at the heart of our engagement with the world—thinking, (...) acting, feeling, making, and being. Gosetti-Ferencei reveals imagination’s roots in embodied human cognition and its role in shaping our cognitive ecology. She demonstrates how imagination arises from our material engagements with the world and at the same time endows us with the sense of an inner life, how it both allows us to escape from reality and aids us in better understanding it. Drawing from philosophy, cognitive science, evolutionary anthropology, developmental psychology, literary theory, and aesthetics, Gosetti-Ferencei engages a spectacular range of examples from ordinary thought processes and actions to artistic, scientific, and literary feats to argue that, like consciousness itself, imagination resists reductive explanation. The Life of Imagination offers a vital account of transformative thinking that shows how imagination will be essential in cultivating a future conducive to human flourishing and to that of the life around us. (shrink)
The Phenomenology of Religious Life presents the text of Heidegger’s important 1920–21 lectures on religion. The volume consists of the famous lecture course Introduction to the Phenomenology of Religion, a course on Augustine and Neoplatonism, and notes for a course on The Philosophical Foundations of Medieval Mysticism that was never delivered. Heidegger’s engagements with Aristotle, St. Paul, Augustine, and Luther give readers a sense of what phenomenology would come to mean in the mature expression of his thought. Heidegger reveals an (...) impressive display of theological knowledge, protecting Christian life experience from Greek philosophy and defending Paul against Nietzsche. (shrink)
Heidegger's interpretations of the poetry of Hölderlin are central to Heidegger's later philosophy and have determined the mainstream reception of Hölderlin's poetry. Gosetti-Ferencei argues that Heidegger has overlooked central elements in Hölderlin's poetics, such as a Kantian understanding of aesthetic subjectivity and a commitment to Enlightenment ideals. These elements, she argues, resist the more politically distressing aspects of Heidegger's interpretations, including Heidegger's nationalist valorization of the German language and sense of nationhood, or Heimat.In the context of Hölderlin's poetics of alienation, (...) exile, and wandering, Gosetti-Ferencei draws a different model of poetic subjectivity, which engages Heidegger's later philosophy of Gelassenheit, calmness, or letting be. In so doing, she is able to pose a phenomenologically sensitive theory of poetic language and a "new poetics of Dasein," or being there. (shrink)
On Being and Becoming offers a new approach to existentialist philosophy and literature, as responding to competing demands for universal truth and the defense of the irreducible singularity of the individual. On Being and Becoming traces the heterogeneity of existentialist thinking beyond the popular wartime philosophers of the Parisian Left Bank, demonstrating their critical dependence on sources from the nineteenth century and their complements in modernist works across the European continent and beyond. While quintessentially modern, existentialism inherits ideas of the (...) past and anticipates challenges of the present. Despite its individualism, existentialist attention to the human self is related to conceptions of world, others, the earth, and the more encompassing concept of being. The predominance of ideas of authenticity, individuality, and self-determination makes any existentialist manifesto self-contradictory, while existentialist thinkers above all wanted to make their philosophy relevant to concrete human existence as it is lived. Prevailing models of existential authenticity life tend to overlook the rich diversity of its prospects, which, as this volume shows, involve not only anxiety, absurdity, awareness of death and of the loss of religious reassurances, but also hope, the striving for happiness, and a sense of the transcendent—all of these grounded our human capacity to create meaning. In spite of the diversity of existentialism, all of its thinkers recognize the self as becoming, and recognize the courage and creativity human individuality demands. On Being and Becoming elaborates pragmatic and philosophical relevance of existentialism for being human in the contemporary world. (shrink)
While phenomenology grounds this study (through Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Bachelard), what makes this book more than a treatise on phenomenological aesthetics is the way in which modernity itself is examined in its relation to ...
What is factical life, and what sort of philosophical approach is needed to grasp it? Life is for Heidegger a basic phenomenon. Because factical life is immensely rich, evasive, manifold, fluid, and dynamic, one cannot hope to grasp it in static definitions which aim to exhaust its object, to take it as an immediate given. The importance of tailoring one’s mode of access to the subject matter is certainly an Aristotlelian insight, but Heidegger conceives it as a question of phenomenological (...) authenticity. Perhaps the most important contribution is the treatment of the formal indication, which appears often in Heidegger’s early writings, but is given a significant clarification here. Heidegger devises the notion of a formal indication as an alternative to traditional philosophical definition, the latter of which also arises from tendencies of life to grasp reality in static presence. Formal indication remains empty as to its content, but draws out a formal structure through which the categorical movements of life become visible from a certain preserved distance. Despite their formal qualification, it is clear that Heidegger’s interpretation of these movements is existentially oriented, their currents tending toward lostness from which life must be turned around. As in Being and Time, care is identified as life’s relational sense, which manifests four categorical directions: inclination, a pull toward something ; distance, or rather, the tendency to abolish the distance between itself and the things which stand before it; sequestration, wherein life avoids itself, looking away from itself, attempting to escape its worriedness about itself; and the “easy,” where life seeks to lose itself in mundane difficulties and/or carefreeness. Readers of Being and Time will notice characteristics of fallenness, Dasein’s inauthentic self-forgetfulness due to insatiable absorption in the world. (shrink)