• Gerald McNiece


The terms imagination, symbol, and nature may be said to define the three major phases or elements — the subject, the middle term, and the object — in creative process. The imagination, traditionally an image-making power and adjunct to memory subordinate to the operations of the analytic, truth-locating intellect, was reinterpreted and revalued by eighteenth-century writers as a major creative and cognitive agency. According to Kant, the imagination is projected by the sublime across the barriers of sense to ‘a presentation of the infinite’. Acting as the instrument of reason, imagination produces ‘a feeling of being unbounded’ (C III, 120) which seems to extend our consciousness of the internal dimensions of reality. But imagination, in Kant’s view, also performs important basic functions of a humbler sort.


Creative Process Primary Imagination Term Imagination Intellectual Intuition Introspective Awareness 
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Copyright information

© Gerald McNiece 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald McNiece
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ArizonaUSA

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