What is imagination?*
by Massimo Gerardo Carrese
Imagination is a faculty of the mind that we all possess. In the past,
especially in the Middle Ages, late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries,
it was considered to be a skill of few people, exclusive of those who were considered
to be genius or talented people, for example artists, poets,
musicians, writers. Imagination was thought to be a skill of mostly male
individuals. Today it is thought that imagination is certainly a capacity
present in all people, who possess it in different measure and with different
stimuli. Is this difference a discrimination? Quite the contrary. We are
different because each of us is unique.
Imagination is an ambiguous word that reveals different expressions
of people and cultures. Depending on the contexts to which it refers to, it
has different meanings.
Imagination and imagery are not synonyms but complementary faculties.
So, what is imagination?
learn more read the essay: To
go where? A short exploratory journey through the words of phantasiology
* This article has been shortened and rewritten. It was
originally published in the Italian Magazine "Soci@lmente"
n.5, March 2012, 7-8 and on the website of the Società Dante Alighieri di Katowice,
"Learning the language by playing", June 2012. To learn more about
other publications see "I Saggi" by Ngurzu Edizioni
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