Husserl Studies

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 143–162 | Cite as

The Many Senses of Imagination and the Manifestation of Fiction: A View from Husserl’s Phenomenology of Phantasy

  • Javier Enrique Carreño Cobos


The systematic importance of the eidetic account of phantasy for Husserlian phenomenology in general is undisputed, but whether this account can be relevant for Aesthetics has often been put into question. In this paper I argue that Husserl’s rich phenomenology of phantasy, and in particular his account of perceptual phantasy, can nevertheless significantly enhance our understanding of how we recognize and imaginatively participate in artistic fictions. Moreover, I show how Husserl’s peculiar formulation of a non-intuitive phantasy at stake in artistic representation anticipates some uses of the imagination in Aesthetics suggested by Ernst Gombrich and Kendall Walton.


Theatrical Representation Aesthetic Experience Perceptual Field Theatrical Play Illusory Perception 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Earlier drafts of this paper were presented at a graduate seminar at the Husserl Archives of the Catholic University of Leuven, and at the School of Philosophy of the Catholic University of America. I would like to thank Dr. Rudolf Bernet and Dr. Roland Breeur of the K. U. Leuven, as well as Dr. John McCarthy and Msgr. Robert Sokolowski of CUA, for the respective invitations to speak, as well as for their helpful comments. Finally, my thanks to the reviewer of this article for his illuminating remarks.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Austrian ProgramFranciscan University of SteubenvilleGamingAustria

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