[Open Access] Simone Villani, Andrea Altobrando, Realizing the Imaginary: Mental Images and the Instruments of Freedom


Abstract: We provide a phenomenological explanation of the particular function mental images play in the realization of enjoyment and their significance for human freedom on the basis of the idea, drawn from Sartre, that images are not things but rather a way consciousness behaves towards objects. The mental image’s matter, which consists of affectivity, knowledge, and kinaesthetic operations, allows imagination to conjure up an unreal item to satiate a desire. However, by foreshadowing enjoyment in the imaginary, the mental image urges consciousness toward a change in the world that would make that enjoyment real. This is accomplished through the development of tools, which rely on the ability to overcome not just a given situation but also courses of goal‑oriented behaviour that have already been prepared by the environment. Through this creation, consciousness exerts its freedom within reality, and marks the world as meaningful.

Table of Contents: Studia Phaenomenologica, Volume 23/ 2023: Phenomenologies of the Image