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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Many of the common assumptions regarding the role imagination plays in phenomenology reflect misunderstandings regarding the nature of phenomenological research. This chapter starts by clarifying some of these misunderstandings. It then presents Husserl’s groundbreaking investigations and considers the most important contribution he made to phenomenological research on the imagination: his “de-naturalization” of the imagination. The chapter then details some of the ways in which Sartre and Merleau-Ponty depart from Husserl’s approach. It gives an account of how both build upon Husserl’s earlier work and also reject some of its tenets. Able here to present only a few facets of the rich history of phenomenological treatments of the imagination, the chapter singles out Sartre and Merleau-Ponty as the two most well-known contributors after Husserl. Both significantly advanced phenomenological research on the imagination and widened its role. Their new impulses changed the trajectory of that history and aided its diversification.

Keywords: Husserl, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, imagination, image, imaginary, naturalism, analogon, ontology, flesh

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