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Mathematical and Elemental Coordinates: The Role of Imagination

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Both in Force of Imagination: The Sense of the Elemental (2000) and in his very recent Logic of Imagination: The Expanse of the Elemental (2012), John Sallis enacts a reconfiguration of the relationship of geometry to elementology, which might be regarded more generally as a rethinking of the relation of mathematics to philosophy. The paper will trace this reconfiguration in two ways: (1) as it lies present but concealed in the history of philosophy, for example, in Descartes’ so-called “dualism” and in Kant’s pure productive imagination, and (2) in its present creative evolution in fractal geometry, as Sallis interprets it. Sallis draws together the mathematical affinity with a fundamental aesthetic drive, likening mathematical patterns to choreographic ones. I conclude by following this strain as it points to specific dance companies, and to my own sense of aesthetic homecoming as presented in my Imagination in Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason.

Affiliations: 1: Duquesne University bdfphil@yahoo.com

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/content/journals/10.1163/15691640-12341283
2014-07-31
2017-11-21

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