1st Edition

Imagination and Social Perspectives Approaches from Phenomenology and Psychopathology

Edited By Michela Summa, Thomas Fuchs, Luca Vanzago Copyright 2018
    368 Pages
    by Routledge

    368 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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