Images and imagination in Modern Western knowledge

Marina Massimi


This article discusses the function and role of mental dynamics in the reception of images according to the philosophical theories available to the cultural universe of the Classic, Middle and Modern Ages in the West including Brazil. It highlights the significance of these philosophical grounds for discussions on the notion of image and imagination in modern times, as well as their application to rhetorics. In the Brazilian context, the contributions by Jesuit Antônio Vieira stand out. It finally shows that in the theories discussed here, the functioning of imagination as mental phenomenon is approached in an integrated manner with the remainder of mind processes including the senses, memory and understanding, emotions and will; it is an indispensable element in the path of knowledge; and it is always referred to image within the multiple dimensions indicated by the specific cultural universe.

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