Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Imagination in Renaissance Philosophy

  • Anna CorriasEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_1053-1


In the Renaissance, the imagination was considered a crucial mental power which played a key role in the building of knowledge as well as in the individual’s relationship with external reality. It was believed to act on the data of sense perception by unifying them into a single representation. This, in turn, would enable the work of reason and, as a result, the mind’s procession of the objects of knowledge. Because of its intermediate position, the imagination was also thought to convey the influence of the soul to the body and vice-versa and to account for many psycho-physiological processes, such as falling ill and recovering. It was also thought to be able to act at a distance, a concept that posed no little challenges to many philosophers of the time, from Marsilio Ficino to Francis Bacon.

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Primary Literature

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.History DepartmentUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.The University of QueenslandSchool of Historical and Philosophical InquiryBrisbaneAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marco Sgarbi
    • 1
  • Peter Mack
    • 2
  1. 1.University Ca' Foscari VeniceVeniceItaly
  2. 2.The Warburg Institute, School of Advanced StudyUniversity of LondonLondonUK