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Powers of Imagination. Historical Approach.

Seminar EHESS/CNRS organised by Elizabeth Claire (CNRS), Béatrice Delaurenti (EHESS), Roberto Poma (University Paris Est-Créteil) and Koen Vermeir (CNRS) ; with financial help of SPHERE.

The concept of imagination is today seen as as a legitimate object of study, having long been discredited by scientific research. However, in modern and contemporary literature, imagination is generally considered in a negative way, as a mental faculty that can cause disease, error, illusion or sin. By cons, its role was very important, because the imagination formed the necessary link between body and soul.
So that was the preferred place to act to perform bodily healing as well as spiritual. We would go against this idea of ​​imagination by studying intellectual tradition and alternative and misunderstood practice. Since the XIIth and XIIIth centuries until the early XIXth century, thinkers and practitioners from a diverse set of disciplines, expressing themselves from different institutional positions, supported the idea that imagination has great powers on the body and on the body and mind of others.
Like last year, the seminar will work around texts in the manner of a workshop, and be joined to implement a collective work of discussion, analysis and comparison of sources over the long term.

PROGRAM 2017-2018 : displayed on this page, it will replace that of 2016-2017 below at the start of the school year

SCHEDULE 2016-2017
On Fridays, at EHESS 105 bd Raspail, 75006 Paris, Room 5

27/01, 24/02, 24/03, 12/05

January 27
  • 13:00–15:00 Robert Iliffe (Univ. of Oxford)
    Changing conceptions of the scientific imagination, 1740-1790.
  • 15:00–17:00 Sorana Corneanu (Bucarest)
    Logic Re-Disciplined : Joseph Glanvill on the Imagination and the Acts of the Intellect.

February 24

  • 13:00–15:00 Guido Giglioni (Londres, Warburg Institute)
    Le pouvoir de l’imagination dans le Marteau contre les sorcières.
  • 15:00–17:00 Béatrice Delaurenti (EHESS)
    Le pouvoir de l’imagination à distance : réception et transformations
    de la doctrine d’Avicenne sur la fascination.

March 24

  • 13:00–15:00 Gaia Gubbini (Berlin, Freie Universität)
    L’imagination, les fées et le merveilleux dans les Lais bretons.
  • 15:00–17:00 Dominik Perler (Berlin, Humboldt-Universität)
    Was Adam Prone to Error ? A Medieval Thought Experiment.

May 12

  • 13:00–15:00 Manuel Quinon (University Paris Diderot)
    Université ésotérique et ésotérisme universitaire : la conception de l’imagination
    chez Henry Corbin (1907-1978) et Gilbert Durand (1921-2012).
  • 15:00–17:00 Roberto Poma (UPEC) & Christian Delorenzo (UPEC)
    L’homme enceint.

Contacts :
elizabeth.claire (at) ; poma (at) ; koen.vermeir (at)