Imagination and Virtuality. On Susanne Langer’s Theory of Artistic Forms

  • Joaquim BragaEmail author
Part of the Numanities - Arts and Humanities in Progress book series (NAHP, volume 11)


This text attempts to analyze and inquire the relationship between virtuality and imagination in Susanne Langer’s art theory. One of my main purposes is to know whether the “actual-virtual” binomial can be applied, without any theoretical concern, to artistic objects and art in general. Since, in Langer, the symbol theory is directly connected with a theory of perception, it remains to scrutinize how aesthetic experiences mediated by the several artistic modalities imply the transformation of works of art into virtual objects. That such a transformation carries the effective power of imagination is a capital condition inherent to all artistic symbolization processes. That these latter, however, do not always express a linear dynamic of the “actual-virtual” binomial is, as will be seen, a critical point of view that must be applied to the aesthetic formulations and concepts developed by Langer.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Unit Instituto de Estudos Filosóficos, Faculdade de LetrasUniversidade de CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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