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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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1 Imagination

Imagination, a licentious and vagrant faculty, unsusceptible of limitations and impatient of restraint, has always endeavoured to baffle the logician, to perplex the confines of distinction, and burst the enclosures of regularity.

(Samuel Johnson, Rambler, no. 125, 28 May 1751)

In much of western thought, the imagination has an ambiguous status, seemingly poised between spirit and nature, m
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should:

  • be able to discuss basic philosophical questions concerning the imagination;

  • have enhanced your ability to understand problems concerning the imagination and to discuss them in a philosophical way.


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Acknowledgements

This unit was written by Dr Robert Philip

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reprodu
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1 Learning Latin

The aim of this unit is to enable you to get started in Latin in a fairly leisurely but well-focused way. The material has been developed in response to requests from students who had had no contact with Latin before and who felt they would like to spend a little time preparing for the kind of learning which takes place on a language course – and, in particular, on a classical language course.

If you have taken Classical Studies courses in the Open University or elsewhere, you will be
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2 The need to commemorate

The subject of memorial is a good one. People often have a powerful need to commemorate those who have died. They may have lost someone close to them, or they may be thinking about loss of life in disaster, or war. You may well recognise that feeling. Such memorials take different forms, from flowers left at a particular spot, to public triumphal arches and works of art dedicated to the memory of specific individuals. But to begin, we want to focus on a particular form of remembrance – war
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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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1.4 Three characteristic difficulties in discussions of representation

I have hinted that accounting for the nature of representation – whether it be the meaning of utterances or the content of our mental states – is not easy. There are several reasons for this, and it is as well to take note of some of them from the outset.

One is that there seem to be several different senses of ‘meaning’, ‘represents’ and related terms like ‘stands for’, ‘being about’, ‘expresses’ – differences that have been glossed over here but will need to
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2.4 Act 5, Scene 2: Faustus's last soliloquy

The play draws to a close with Faustus's final soliloquy, which is supposed to mark the last hour of his life.

Activity

Please reread this speech now, thinking as you read about how Marlowe uses sound effects to heighten the emotiona
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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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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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3.6 Health education

The poor were not the only targets of health education. Campaigns against tuberculosis and venereal disease were aimed at all classes. Advice was dispensed through exhibitions, lectures, classes, posters, radio talks and films. Tuberculosis, the public was told, was best combated by a generally healthy lifestyle – fresh air, exercise and hygiene. The 1939 film Stand Up and Breathe, made by the National Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis (NAPT), promoted all sorts of outdo
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3.5 The health of mothers and children

The health of mothers and infants was one target for action. France was among the first to introduce infant welfare schemes, as low birth rates, high infant mortality and defeat in the Franco-Prussian War led politicians to fear for the future strength of the nation. Diarrhoea among bottle-fed babies was singled out as a preventable cause of high infant mortality. From the 1890s, charities and local authorities set up infant welfare clinics called gouttes de lait, which encouraged moth
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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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6.2.2 Fixed air

It was well known that ‘air’ was given off by magnesia (or limestone) when treated with acids. Black sought to show that this ‘air’, which he called ‘fixed air’ (carbon dioxide), is also lost when magnesia is heated. Hampered by practical difficulties in his efforts to collect the fixed air liberated during the heating of magnesia, Black used a series of chemical reactions to prove his argument. He dissolved the magnesia usta in sulphuric acid to produce a solution of Epsom salt.
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5.3 Hutton's geology: ‘No vestige of a beginning – no prospect of an end’

Geologists are engaged on the business of reconstructing the earth's past and determining the agents of geological change. The only documentary evidence of the earth's origins and ancient past, and of the agents that had caused change, available to Hutton was the book of Genesis, and he had sceptically put it aside, along with miracles. But what if the processes that are presently observable were to be taken as the key to the past? How far might geological enquiry go with the assumptio
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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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