Thursday, June 21, 2007

Imagination and background

From Peter Strawson, "Imagination and Perception":
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.

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