Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I would like to express my gratitude to all those who helped make this book a reality. In Germany, where the project was conceived, I am particularly indebted to Maria Moog---Grünewald, who introduced me to the history of modern subjectivity and whose lectures and seminars provided the intellectual and interdisciplinary environment in which...

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Introduction

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pp. 3-14

Even a cursory glance at the definitions the word "imagination" has been given—the meanings that have been associated with it, the abilities and functions of the human mind it has been taken to represent; in short, the desires and fears attached to it over the course of Western intellectual history—reveals an astonishing array...

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1. Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Rhetoric: Contexts of Imagination

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pp. 15-35

While this chapter focuses on classical discourses about imagination, its approach and goal are not strictly historical. In analyzing the contributions of Plato, Aristotle, and the rhetorical tradition to the discourse about imagination, it is not my aim to uncover origins or to suggest inevitable historical...

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2. Dreams, Doubts, and Evil Demons: Descartes and Imagination

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pp. 36-79

While chapter 1 provides the discursive entryways to the discussion of imagination that remain pertinent to the philosophical and literary positions that will interest us in the following chapters, the current chapter opens up and brings into focus the peculiar connection between imagination and the modern...

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3. The Reasonable Imagination: Immanuel Kant's Critical Philosophy

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pp. 80-139

The ambivalence with regard to imagination as a power both essential to and excluded from the constitution of the cogito, which a close reading of the Cartesian text brings to light, is even more pronounced in Immanuel Kant's philosophical assessment of the faculty. While imagination emerges in the Kantian...

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4. The Highest Point of Philosophy: Fichte's Reimagining of the Kantian System

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pp. 140-161

Immanuel Kant's critical project immediately triggered an intense philosophical debate that gave rise to the intimately connected discourses of German Idealism and Early German Romanticism. Much to Kant's surprise, the critique leveled against his systematic approach focused on his account of the structure of self-consciousness...

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5. A System Without Foundations: Poetic Subjectivity in Friedrich von Hardenberg's ORDO INVERSUS

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pp. 162-213

Hardenberg searches for a compromise between the anarchic effects of unconstrained freedom feared by both Kant and Fichte and the complete control of the law of reason, which seemed the only philosophical and political alternatives. He develops his attempt to delineate an alternative system in an attentive reading of Fichte's...

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6. Divine Law and Abject Subjectivity: Coleridge and the Double Knowledge of Imagination

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pp. 214-254

Addressing Kant's influence on his philosophical thought in chapter 9 of the Biographia Literaria, Samuel Taylor Coleridge famously proclaimed that "The writings of the illustrious sage of Konigsberg . . . took possession of me as with a giant's hand." Paying his debts to this moment of philosophical...

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Conclusions

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pp. 255-261

A highly complex, manifold narrative connecting concepts of imagination to modern concepts of subjectivity links the six chapters of this study. Imagination plays a central role in the discursive transformation that leads from the Cartesian cogito to poetic models of subjectivity during the Romantic...

Notes

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pp. 263-306

Bibliography

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pp. 307-314

Index

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pp. 315-320