Imagination in the Western Psyche: From Ancient Greece to Modern Neuroscience, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Imagination in the Western Psyche

From Ancient Greece to Modern Neuroscience, 1st Edition

By Jonathan Erickson

Routledge

304 pages

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Hardback: 9780367205164
pub: 2019-08-21
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Description

Imagination in the Western Psyche: From Ancient Greece to Modern Neuroscienceoffers a comprehensive treatment of the human imagination by integrating the rich discourse on imagination in the humanities with modern neuroscientific research.This book is the first to offer an integrated understanding of imagination from both a humanistic (i.e. historical, philosophical, cultural, depth psychological) and scientific perspective.

The book presents neurobiological accounts that align with prominent theories in Jungian and archetypal psychology and offers a window into the many ways imagination can be understood. It elaborates on the discourse on imagination in Western Civilization which goes back thousands of years. Chapters analyse how imagination has been considered throughout history and contrasts a modern neuroscientific approach which looks at imagination by studying its component parts without addressing the phenomenon in all its experiential richness and complexity. By bringing these two approaches together an account of the human imagination emerges that is grounded in scientific rigor without diminishing the fullness of human experience.

This book will appeal to academics, researchers and post-graduate students in the fields of analytical psychology, depth psychology, Jungian studies, and psychotherapy

Table of Contents

PART1: INTRODUCTION

1: CHASING IMAGINATION

Defining Imagination

Imagination and Depth Psychology

The Great Divide

Model Agnosticism

Overview

2: MEASURING THE IMAGINAL

Scientific Method

Science and Scientism

Perils of Reduction and Promise of Complexity

Phenomenology and Neuroscience

Facing Proteus

PART 2: IMAGINATION AS PHENOMENON

3: A BRIEF HISTORY OF IMAGINATION

FROM PREHISTORY TO THE RENAISSANCE

Phantasies of Ancient Greece

The Platonic Imagination

The Aristotelian Imagination

The Greek Legacy

The Judeo-Christian Imagination: From הַרַע to Imaginatio

The Renaissance

Precursors to the Renaissance Imagination

Proteus in the Gardens of the World Soul

4: IMAGINATION IN MODERNITY

FROM ENLIGHTENMENT TO DISENCHANTMENT

The Ascendance of Reason

The Synthetic Imagination of Kant

The Creative Imagination of the Romantics

Roots of Romanticism

The Romantic Imagination

Imagination and Reason at the Abyss

The Road to Disenchantment: 

Imagination in the 20th Century

From Imagination to The Imaginary

Deconstructing Imagination

Signs of Life

5: IMAGINAL PSYCHOLOGY

The Birth of Depth Psychology: 

From Nietzsche to Freud

The Jungian Imagination

From Philosophy to Psychology

Image as Bridge to the Unknown

Archetypes: Collective Primordial Images

Active Imagination

James Hillman: Advocate for the Imaginal

Henry Corbin and the Mundus Imaginalis

The Deliteralization of the Psyche

Imagination of the Soul

A Personified Cosmos

Conclusion

 

PART 3: THE NEUROSCIENCE OF IMAGINATION

6: SENSE AND IMAGE

Sensation, Perception, Imagination

The Visual System

Multisensory Processing

Is Perception Imagery?

Mental Images

Mental Images and Meaning

The Evolutionary Case for Meaningful Mental Images

Image and Emotion

Imagery, Meaning, and Memory

From Virtual Reality to Anima Mundi

7: TIME AND STORY

The Narrative Dimension

The Evolution of Story

Theory of Mind: Agency in a Storied World

Self-Stories, Individual Development, and Healing

Imagining Memory

The Neurobiology of Memory

Mental Time Travel

Convergence: The Default Mode Network

From Stories Brains to Story Tellers

8: CREATIVITY AND DREAM

Creativity

Creative Production

The Creative Unconscious

Free Association Revisited

Incubation and Insight

Dream

Continuity in Dreaming and Waking Consciousness

Physiological Origins of Dreams

Dreaming and Meaning

Lucidity: The Paradox of Dreaming Awake

Concluding Remarks on the Creative Unconscious

 

PART 4: THE IMAGINATION OF NEUROSCIENCE

9: IMAGINATION IN SCIENCE

Types of Imagination in Science

Creative Imagination in Scientific Method

The Art of Making Models

The Ontological Imagination

Foregrounding the Imaginal Context

Ontological Creativity

10: NEUROSCIENCE AS STORY AND MYTH

Science and the Bridge of Fiction

Science Fictions in Public Discourse

The Human Face of Neuroscience

Myths of Scientific Purity and Power

Social Considerations in the Production of Scientific Knowledge

Myths and Metaphors of the Brain

Myths and Mysteries of Consciousness

11: CONCLUSION

FACING PROTEUS

Seeking Synthesis

Concluding Remarks in Defense of Science

Sitting with the Shapeshifter

About the Author

Jonathan Erickson, a writer and educator, holds a BA in English literature from UC Berkeley and a PhD in depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, California, USA

About the Series

Research in Analytical Psychology and Jungian Studies

Series Advisor: Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, Essex University, UK.

The Research in Analytical Psychology and Jungian Studies series features research-focused volumes involving qualitative and quantitative research, historical/archival research, theoretical developments, heuristic research, grounded theory, narrative approaches, collaborative research, practitioner-led research, and self-study. The series also includes focused works by clinical practitioners, and provides new research informed explorations of the work of C.G. Jung that will appeal to researchers, academics, and scholars alike.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY036000
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health