2 The varieties of imaginative experience

What would life be like without imagination? Perhaps, in this very first question, we have found something that is impossible to imagine. Imagination infuses so much of what we do, and so deeply, that to imagine its absence is to imagine not being human. Some people, I am told, think about sex every five minutes. For them, I presume, a sudden loss of imaginative powers would be devastating. Some people (not necessarily the same ones), at certain points in their lives, think about getting marr
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9.2 Cultural shifts: from Enlightenment to Romanticism, c.1780–1830

  1. A growing impulse towards revolution, rupture, transformation and radicalism.

  2. A growing scepticism about the potential to identify objective, empirically validated and universally valid truths, and an increased emphasis on subjectivity.

  3. An increasing emphasis on the self, introspection, identity and individualism.

  4. A growing exploitation and intensification of an aesthetic of the sublime.

  5. A
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5 Enlightenment and the classics

The civilisations of ancient Greece and Rome formed both a common background and a major source of inspiration to Enlightenment thinkers and artists (see Figure 4). The dominant culture of the Enlightenment was rooted in the classics, and its art was consciously imitative and neoclassical. English literature of the first half of the century was known as ‘Augustan’ – that is, comparable to the classic works of the age of the Roman emperor Augustus (27 BC
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3.2 Public or private memorial?

The choice of location has wider implications, too. If the chosen site is in a public place, such as a park or village green in public ownership, then the building is accessible to all. No specific interest controls it (though of course there may be special arrangements made for its upkeep) and no particular individual owns it.

On the other hand, if a memorial is created by a family in memory of an individual, then the location of the memorial reflects that gift. Such memorials are ofte
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4.4 Physicalism and the hard problem

I introduced the hard problem as an explanatory problem – the problem of explaining how consciousness arises. But it can also be presented as a metaphysical problem – the problem of saying what kind of phenomenon consciousness is, and, more specifically, whether it is a physical one. In this section I shall say something about this aspect of the hard problem and its relation to the explanatory one.

The terms ‘physical’ and ‘physicalism’ (the view that everything is ph
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2.8 The Gricean Programme

Before considering any further potential criticisms of Grice's position, let us step back and consider his wider importance to philosophy: his contribution to what is often called The Gricean Programme. Grice himself was not really a Gricean in this sense, since he was not committed to all elements of the programme that bears his name. But Grice's influence has been as great as it has in part because of the way in which his ideas have been co-opted into this broader programme.

Th
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2.4 The meaning of expressions versus the meaning of individual utterances

I drew a contrast at the beginning of the chapter between those approaches to the meaning of utterances that look to the meaning of the words used, and those approaches that look instead to the content of the mental or psychological states of speakers. Grice belongs to the second camp. He aims to show that the meaning of an expression (e.g. a word or a sentence) is derivative, definable in terms of how that expression is typically used in meaningful utterances. The meaning of individual utter
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1.6 Further reading

For an advanced general introduction to the philosophy of language, see Blackburn 1984. Lycan 1996 is pitched at a more accessible level. Pinker 1994 is an informal but informative discussion of the hypothesis that much of our linguistic ability is innate, an important topic that has had to be left out of this unit.


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6 Hospital care

In most aspects of medical care, the rich generally enjoyed better access to medical services and better-quality services than the poor. The only exception to this rule was hospital care. In the nineteenth century the ‘deserving’ poor – whose respectability was guaranteed by the need for them to have a letter of admission from a subscriber or employer – could receive medical and surgical treatment in charitable hospitals. The very poor could obtain care through Poor Law hospitals, whi
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5.2 General practitioners

General practitioners were the backbone of medical services. They dealt with almost every sort of complaint, from the serious to the trivial. Although it is often assumed that previous generations were prepared to put up with discomfort, in 1876, an anonymous correspondent to a friendly society magazine complained that ‘one of the most distinctive traits of this generation is its almost fidgety care about its health’ (quoted in Riley, 1997, p. 199). Working men went to the doctor with min
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4 Domestic care

Despite their best efforts, everyone fell ill at some point in their lives. Although historians of medicine write a great deal about how the sick were cared for by doctors and in hospitals, in the past (as nowadays) minor complaints were diagnosed and treated at home, almost entirely without the help of medical professionals, using special diets and home-made or bought-in remedies. As with preserving health, poor families had relatively few resources for treatment. They might seek advice from
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12 Glossary

Millenialism (or Millenarianism): the belief and practices, religious and/or political, which seek a comprehensive, salvationary solution for social, political, economic and personal issues. Although originally pre-Christian, the term became identified with the myth of Christ's return after a thousand years. Millenialism, which appealed to some Dissenting sects and other non-religious groups in Britain and the US, played a part in Owen's thinking after 1816. From time to time he announ
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6.3.2 Heat of vaporisation

Black read a paper on these experiments to the Glasgow Literary Society in April 1762, and then turned to the investigation of vaporisation. For reasons he himself found difficult to explain, Black was initially reluctant to accept that there was a similar heat of vaporisation. This was in spite of the fact that he (and presumably many cooks) had observed that it takes far longer to boil off water than it takes to raise water to boiling point. In October 1762, he devised a very simple experim
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5.4 Hutton's geology: The Jedburgh unconformity

One concrete example from the Theory of the Earth will perhaps indicate the way in which Hutton could read features of the landscape as evidence of the action of forces acting over immeasurably long periods. He had been geologising in the valley of Jed Water, near Jedburgh, in the Borders area between England and Scotland. From his observations in the neighbouring Teviot valley, he expected the Jed to be running over a bed of horizontally laid, soft strata which were sometimes exposed
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3.4 The role of the Edinburgh Town Council

This route incidentally leads us to another important feature of the movement, namely the role of the Edinburgh Town Council and its provosts. (The English equivalent would be a lord mayor.) Throughout the eighteenth century, the Town Council, with a policy of enlightened self-interest, promoted the city by sponsoring or patronising its academic, medical and scientific life. The Council regarded the city's university, infirmary and medical school as institutions which, if given enough prestig
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4.5 Questions

The final activity in this section asks you to bring together the observations you’ll have made after watching each section of video.

Activity 16

Consider the following questions:

  1. Can
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4.2 The meaning of kente designs

Activity 13

Once you’ve watched the video, explain, using your own words, what kente designs mean.

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2.3 Making kente

Activity 3

Once you’ve watched the video, explain how kente is made.

2.4.3 Literature

This doesn't have the kind of physical presence that material evidence does, but it has a different strength: it gives us, more literally, voices from the past. We can, as it were, hear the ancient Greeks and Romans speak, about what happened, about how they felt, about what they thought, and experience how they expressed themselves. This gives us a rather different access to their world, complementary to the one we get from material culture.

Like the word ‘arts’, literature can sug
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2.4.1 Archaeological evidence

This feels in some ways like the most ‘real’ source – where you can almost touch the Classical world, and where you get a sense of what the Classical world looked like. Classical archaeology covers a wide range of areas: not just buildings like the Parthenon or the temples at Paestum, but also cities, landscapes, graves, coins, battlefields, everyday items, plant and animal remains, ancient rubbish and much else. Archaeology often throws up evidence where literature doesn't. People, aft
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