Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Here is an interesting idea from Kant: that the Imagination is necessary for human freedom

Well, this may be my spin on it, based on reading the Introduction to the Critique of Judgment that I mentioned below. The Imagination is the faculty of fantasy, of being able to make up situations and other fictional elements that aren't really there. It derives its subject matter from the world, and is sort of an abstraction from the world, yet there's an element of it that's creative unto itself. It could be that the application of the product of fantasy to reality, trying to find a bridge between the two, ensures the existence of freedom, because whatever faculty produces fantasy is purely subjective, purely personal, purely the product of the person him or herself. Through fantasy we can liberate ourselves from being bound by stimulus and response and come up with more creative ways of acting and of understanding the world around us. Through actively fanning the power of our imagination we can gain the base material necessary for a more creative engagement with the world around us, which is related to our freedom of action. Our freedom of action is increased the more we increase our imagination and attempt to analyze the world an ourselves based on ideas that our imagination has produced.

**on edit: Creative Critical Reasoning. This could be a term for what I'm talking about. What we call critical reasoning always has a creative component to it, it's always the combination of creativity with reason in order to make judgments about external facts. Sure, you can further analyze your conclusions and work out the very reason centered logical consequences of the judgment, and you should to one degree or another, but at the beginning folks are generally guided by creative intuition as much as they're guided by pure reason. This intuition is usually built up over a period of time, so that the more you do critical reasoning on a subject the better your intuitions get, but even so they're still not purely rational in the sense that a logically diagrammed set of propositions is.

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