By engaging with the notions of indeterminacy and embodiment within the writings of Immanuel Kant, Johann Fichte and Cornelius Castoriadis, this book addresses and brings to the fore the significance of the creative imagination as an ontological source of human creation. Principally inspired by Castoriadis’ revolutionary elucidation of the imagination and the imaginary, this book actively contributes to this neglected line of enquiry by exposing deep lines of continuity and rupture both within and between the writings of Kant, Fichte, and Castoriadis. Beginning with Kant’s hesitation in describing the productive imagination as a creative and embodied power of the soul, this book traces these lines of continuity and rupture through Fichte’s innovative depiction of the creative imagination as an ontological power of creation and through Castoriadis’ radical extension of this idea into the social-historical realm. Given the notions of indeterminacy and embodiment actively inform these lines of continuity and of rupture, this book contributes to the landscape of thinking by proposing the creative imagination must be envisaged an embodied power of the human soul.
Jodie Lee Heap is associate of the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne.
Foreword / John Rundell
Preface: The Indeterminacy of Human Creation.
First Movement: The Unknown Seed of Indeterminacy in the Writings of Immanuel Kant.
Chapter One: The Unknown Seed of Indeterminacy.
Chapter Two: The Productive Imagination — A Power of Synthesis A Priori.
Chapter Three: The Productive Imagination — A Power of Representing.
Chapter Four: The Productive Imagination — A Determinate Power of Exhibition.
Chapter Five: The Productive Imagination — An Indeterminate Power of Exhibition.
Chapter Six: The Productive Imagination — The Act of Creation.
Second Movement: The Absolutely Incomprehensible Seed of Indeterminacy in the Writings of Johann Gottlieb Fichte.
Chapter Seven: The Absolutely Incomprehensible Seed of Indeterminacy.
Chapter Eight: The Absolutely Creative Imagination.
Chapter Nine: The Creative Imagination.
Third Movement: The Radical Seed of Indeterminacy in the Writings of Cornelius Castoriadis.
Chapter Ten: The Radical Seed of Indeterminacy.
Chapter Eleven: The Radical Imagination.
Chapter Twelve: The Radical Imaginary.
Chapter Thirteen: The Creative Imaginary.
Chapter Fourteen: The Creative Imagination.
Fourth Movement: The Embodied Seed of Indeterminacy.
Elegantly written and illuminating, Jodie Lee Heap’s The Creative Imagination explores the way that the imagination is treated in the monumental philosophical works of Kant, Fichte and Castoriadis. As she does this, Heap probes and dissects with great insight the many sides of the imagination: productive, creative, synthetic, antithetical, introspective, social, intuitive, spontaneous, determinate, formative and figurative.
Heap proposes a new way of theorising creative imagination. Through engagement with Kant, Fichte and Castoriadis she explores the enabling and disabling powers of indeterminacy embedded in subjects and collectives. This is a fascinating study that breaks new ground by returning anew to western philosophy’s original inspiration: to think in and through the indeterminate.
Through a forensic examination of the work of Kant, Fichte and Castoriadis, Jodie Lee Heap reconstructs the concept of a creative imagination that is both free and embodied, reminding us that indeterminacy and determination must be thought together, that the indeterminate being is always this indeterminate being, and that, if indeterminacy transcends boundaries, it is not, thereby, untethered.
Jodie Lee Heap’s well writtenand brilliantly researched book is the first proper account of Cornelius Castoriadis’s development of the creative imagination from Enlightenment philosophy, in particular Kant’s schematism and Fichte’s idealist focus on the incomprehensible. Itraises a political question of how to creatively work on the limits, systemic constraints, ruptures, anomies and paradoxes of determinacy, that any critical thinker needs to ask today.