The physical prophet and the powers of the imagination. Part I: a case-study on prophecy, vapours and the imagination 1685 -1710Report as inadecuate




The physical prophet and the powers of the imagination. Part I: a case-study on prophecy, vapours and the imagination 1685 -1710 - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

* Corresponding author 1 SPHERE - Sciences - Philosophie - Histoire

Abstract : I argue that the imagination was a crucial concept for the understanding of marvellous phenomena, divination and magic in general. Exploring a debate on prophecy at the turn of the seventeenth century, I show that four explanatory categories God, demons, nature and fraud were consistently evoked and I elucidate the role of the imagination in each of them. I introduce the term -floating concept- to conceptualise the different understandings of the imagination and animal spirits in different discourses. I underpin my argument with a broader and less known discussion of the imagination. I argue that theories of the imagination, and particularly of the powers of the imagination, acquired negative associations and became linked with illicit magic in the Renaissance. Furthermore, I show that the relation between both animal spirits and imagination, and the power of the latter over external bodies, points to the importance of a -history of vapours- and this suggests an adjustment to Hutchison-s argument on occult qualities in mechanical philosophy. The accompanying paper Vermeir, 2005 gives more evidence of these claims and elaborates on the relation between the natural and the moral.

Keywords : Prophecy Divination Imagination UPneumaU Physiology Magic Occult Vapours Animal spirits Preternatural Floating concept Keith Hutchison





Author: Koen Vermeir -

Source: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/



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