Imaginal Politics: Images Beyond Imagination and the Imaginary

Hardcover | May 13, 2014

byChiara Bottici

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Between the radical, creative capacity of our imagination and the social imaginary we are immersed in is an intermediate space philosophers have termed the imaginal, populated by images or (re)presentations that are presences in themselves. Offering a new, systematic understanding of the imaginal and its nexus with the political, Chiara Bottici brings fresh perspective to the formation of political and power relationships and the paradox of a world rich in imagery yet seemingly devoid of imagination.

Bottici begins by defining the difference between the imaginal and the imaginary, locating the imaginal's root meaning in the image and its ability to both characterize a public and establish a set of activities within that public. She identifies the imaginal's critical role in powering representative democracies and its amplification through globalization. She then addresses the troublesome increase in images now mediating politics and the transformation of politics into empty spectacle. The spectacularization of politics has led to its virtualization, Bottici observes, transforming images into processes with an uncertain relationship to reality, and, while new media has democratized the image in a global society of the spectacle, the cloned image no longer mediates politics but does the act for us. Bottici concludes with politics' current search for legitimacy through an invented ideal of tradition, a turn to religion, and the incorporation of human rights language.

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Between the radical, creative capacity of our imagination and the social imaginary we are immersed in is an intermediate space philosophers have termed the imaginal, populated by images or (re)presentations that are presences in themselves. Offering a new, systematic understanding of the imaginal and its nexus with the political, Chia...

Chiara Bottici is assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research and the author of A Philosophy of Political Myth, Men, and States, and, with Benoît Challand, The Myth of the Clash of Civilizations and Imagining Europe: Myth, Memory, and Identity.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:May 13, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231157789

ISBN - 13:9780231157780

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionPart 1. Imagining1. From Phantasia to Imagination2. From Imagination to the Imaginary and Beyond?3. Toward a Theory of the ImaginalPart 2. Politics4. A Genealogy of Politics: From Its Invention to the Biopolitical Turn5. Imaginal Politics6. Contemporary Transformations Between Spectacle and VirtualityPart 3. The Global Spectacle7. The Politics of the Past: The Myth of the Clash of Civilizations8. The Repositioning of Religion in the Public Sphere: Imaginal Consequences9. Imagining Human Rights: Gender, Race, and ClassThe Freedom of Equals: A Conclusion and a New BeginningNotesBibliographyIndex

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