Imagination and Social Perspectives : Approaches from Phenomenology and Psychopathology book cover
1st Edition

Imagination and Social Perspectives
Approaches from Phenomenology and Psychopathology

ISBN 9780367667467
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
368 Pages

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Book Description

Our experience of other individuals as minded beings goes hand in hand with the awareness that they have a unique epistemic and emotional perspective on the experienced objects and situations. The same object can be seen from many different points of view, an event can awaken different emotional reactions in different individuals, and our position-takings can in part be mediated by our belonging to some social or cultural groups. All these phenomena can be described by referring to the metaphor of perspective. Assuming that there are different, and irreducible, perspectives we can take on the experienced world, and on others as experiencing the same world, the phenomenon of mutual understanding can consistently be understood in terms of perspectival flexibility. This edited volume investigates the different processes in which perspectival flexibility occurs in social life and particularly focuses on the constitutive role of imagination in such processes. It includes original works in philosophy and psychopathology showing how perspectival flexibility and social cognition are grounded on the interplay of direct perception and imagination.

Table of Contents

1. Imagination and Social Perspectives. Approaches from Phenomenology and Psychopathology

Michela Summa, Thomas Fuchs, and Luca Vanzago

Section I: Imagination and the As-If: Experiencing Multiple Realities 

2. Imagining Oneself

Andrea Altobrando

3. Experiencing Reality and Fiction: Discontinuity and Permeability

Michela Summa

4. As-if I Were You: Imagining the Other in Aesthetic Experience from Kant to Husserl

Serena Feloj

Section II: Imagination and Intersubjectivity in Psychopathology 

5. The "As-if" Function and Its Loss in Schizophrenia

Thomas Fuchs

6. Intersubjective Expression in Autism and Schizophrenia

Till Grohmann

7. The Phenomenology of Intersubjective Reality in Schizophrenia

Zeno Van Duppen

Section III: Imagination and the Experience of Others

8. Spinoza on the Role of Feelings, Imagination and Knowledge in Sex, Love, and Social Life

Rudolf Bernet

9. Sartre and the Role of Imagination in Mutual Understanding

Jens Bonnermann

10. Intersubjectivity and Imagination. On Merleau-Ponty’s Conception of Intercorporeality as Foundation of Community

Luca Vanzago

11. The Minded Other and the Work of the Imagination

Anita Avramides

12. Empathy without Simulation

Matthew Ratcliffe

Section IV: The Sociality of Imagination

13. Collective Imagination: A Normative Account

Thomas Szanto

14. Shared imagining: Beyond extension, distribution, and commitment

Julia Jansen

15. Beyond the Dichotomy of "Social Direct Perception" and "Simulation Theory". Scheler’s Account of Social Cognition Revisited

Emanuele Caminada

Section V. Aesthetic, Ethical, and Socio-Political Grounds of Perspective-Taking

16. We-Perspective on Aesthetic Grounds: Gemeinsinn and Übereinstimmung in Kant and Wittgenstein

Silvana Borutti

17. Social Perspectivity. From the Anonymous Social Order to Individual and Social Awareness

Karl Mertens

18. The Ethico-Political Turn of Phenomenology. Reflections on Otherness in Husserl and Levinas

Matthias Flatscher and Sergej Seitz

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Michela Summa is a post-doc researcher and lecturer at the Philosophy Department of Julius Maximilians Universität Würzburg. Research interests include: the phenomenology of sensible experience, the phenomenology and the psychopathology of self- and other-experience, the phenomenology of memory and imagination, aesthetic and ontology of fiction.

Thomas Fuchs is Karl Jaspers Professor of Philosophy and Psychiatry at Heidelberg University, Germany. Areas of expertise: phenomenological philosophy, psychology and psychopathology, with a focus on embodiment, temporality, spatiality, and intersubjectivity. Clinical work focus: diagnosis, psychopathological assessment and treatment of adults with severe psychiatric disorders.

Luca Vanzago is a professor of Theoretical Philosophy and of Theory of Knowledge at the University of Pavia, Italy. Areas of expertise: phenomenology, philosophy of mind, and ontology, with focus on temporality, bodily subjectivity, the experience of pain, and the "hard problem" of consciousness.


"This collection is welcome indeed since it draws into sharp relief the important but often overlooked connections among imagination, intersubjectivity, and perspective-taking of all kinds. While those schooled in the phenomenological tradition are well aware that these interlocking themes were of central concern to Husserl, Stein, Sartre and company, it has, with some exceptions, taken a little more time for analytical philosophers of mind and cognitive scientists to realize just how crucial perspective-taking is to understanding the structures and functions of consciousness . . . The book is highly recommended." Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"An outstanding and innovative book, which absolutely needs to be read and studied by researchers and students."Natalie Depraz, University of Rouen, France

"This book covers a wide range of intriguing and original contributions to the role of imagination in perspective-taking, and the sociality of imagination." Anika Fiebich, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany