Imagining the Given and beyond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Imagination is crucial to Joseph Margolis' philosophy: he addresses its significance for the experience of works of art and, more importantly, he portrays it as constitutive of human reality itself. I explicate these claims and define Margolis' notion of imagination vis-à-vis Jean-Paul Sartre's, whose own conception of imagination Margolis rejects. Studying Margolis and Sartre in relation to each other illuminates crucial differences between their positions and highlights the different commitments that underlie their philosophical anthropology as a whole. In the conclusion of this paper, I argue that there are in fact certain affinities between their positions and suggest that we think of the problem of imagination meta-philosophically, as a problem that guides philosophical thought in its various attempts to define the human.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-87
Number of pages18
JournalContemporary Pragmatism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


  • Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Joseph Margolis
  • constructivism
  • imagination
  • transcendence
  • works of art

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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