But we must remember that what is obvious and familiar, and what is not, is, at least to a large extent, a matter of training and experience and cultural background. So it may be, in this sense, imaginative of Eliot to see the river as a strong, brown god, but less so of the members of a tribe who believe in river-gods. It may, in this sense, call for imagination on my part to see or hear something as a variation on a particular theme, but not on the part of a historian of architecture or a trained musician. What is fairly called exercise of imagination for one person or age group or generation or society may be merest routine for another.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Imagination and background
From Peter Strawson, "Imagination and Perception":