Practical Imagination

  • Gustavo Pereira
Part of the Philosophy and Politics - Critical Explorations book series (PPCE, volume 9)


This chapter presents the concept of practical imagination as a specification of the general concept of imagination. This type of imagination participates in the representation and anticipation of possible scenarios in which we see ourselves performing a course of action and living its consequences; it is from this anticipation that we make our decisions and act. By virtue of this, practical imagination is mainly counterfactual, and its exercise is limited to the field of the possible and realizable.

The internal relationship between practical rationality and imagination allows us, in turn, to differentiate the latter into the four practical contexts in which practical rationality can be differentiated, so that we can speak of ethical, moral, political and legal imagination. These four forms of imagination are developed as enablers of ethical, moral, legal and political rationality. This will be illustrated through the contributions of classical thinkers such as Aristotle and the Stoics in the case of ethical imagination, Hume and Kant for moral imagination, whereas the anticipation of institutional and legal arrangements that articulate our political and legal imagination will be presented from a wide variety of contributions that range from Plato to Marx.


Counterfactual imagination Practical rationality Aristotle Kant 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gustavo Pereira
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of HumanitiesUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay

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