Weerstaan aan de verleiding van het beeld: de verbeelding als pharmakon



In the writings of the fifth-century neoplatonist Proclus and the ‘first’ modern thinker René
Descartes imagination displays a remarkable ambiguity by destabilizing the rigid
distinctions between original/copy and intelligibility/sensibility from within. After a
presentation of both Proclus’ and Descartes’ ideas concerning the concept of imagination –
while paying special attention to the so-called geometrical imagination – I will argue that
throughout the text of the history of philosophy imagination always emerges as a
pharmakon, a magic potion that simultaneously cures and poisons. Neither platonism nor
the classical epistèmè have succeeded in restraining imagination’s ambiguous force. On the
contrary, precisely within these moments the symptom of an equivocal imagination seems
to emerge at its height.


How to Cite: Claessens, G. (2009) “Weerstaan aan de verleiding van het beeld: de verbeelding als pharmakon”, Handelingen - Koninklijke Zuid-Nederlandse maatschappij voor taal- en letterkunde en geschiedenis. 63(0). doi: