The Varieties of Imagination

“There is a conceptual imagination, a moral imagination, an imagination of the heart; there is, thank Cod, a ludic imagination, a playful imagination which helps us to bear the responsibilities of all the rest. There is the imagination of order and form. Al-Farabi and the mediaeval Arabs, Dante, Tasso, Matthew Arnold, I. A. Richards were among those who recognized that reason, imagination and all the other aspects of the human mind that have been isolated and labelled by philosophers are not always in competition with one another.”

J.M. Cocking, Imagination, 281.

Also, quotable, C. Charlton:

“It is here that we look for a positive statement of Mrs. Warnock’s own views on imagination, but it is hard to feel that we get it. Indeed, she warns us that ‘it goes without saying’ that the analysis of the concept of imagination ‘cannot be undertaken properly in this book’ (p. 159). But if not in a two hundred page book entitled ‘Imagination’, where can it be undertaken properly.”

W. Charlton


Quotable: Cavanaugh on imagination

“We are often fooled by the seeming solidity of the materials of politics, its armies and offices, into forgetting that these materials are marshaled by acts of the imagination. How does a provincial farm boy become persuaded that he must travel as a soldier to another part of the world and kill people he knows nothing about? He must be convinced of the reality of borders and imagine himself deeply, mystically, united to a wider national community that stops abruptly at those borders.”

William T. Cavanaugh, Theopolitical Imagination: Christian Practices of Space and Time (London: T&T Clark, 2002), 1.