Although productive imagination has played a highly significant role in (post-) Kantian philosophy, there have been very few book-length studies explicitly dedicated to its analysis.
In his new book, Saulius Geniusas develops a phenomenology of productive imagination while relying on those resources that we come across in Edmund Husserl’s, Max Scheler’s, Martin Heidegger’s, Ernst Cassirer’s, Miki Kiyoshi’s, Jean-Paul Sartre’s, Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s, and Paul Ricoeur’s writings, while also engaging in present-day philosophical discussions of the imagination. Investigating the relation between imagination and embodiment, affectivity, perception, language, selfhood, and intersubjectivity, the book provides a phenomenological conception of productive imagination, which is committed to basic phenomenological principles and which is sensitive to how productive imagination has been conceptualized in the history of phenomenology.
Against such a background, Geniusas develops a new conception of productive imagination: It is a basic modality of intentionality that indirectly shapes the human experience of the world by forming the contours of action, intuition, knowledge, and understanding. It is not so much a blind and indispensable function of the soul, but an art concealed in the body, for it springs out of instincts, drives, desires, and needs.
The author discloses the unexpected ways in which phenomenology of productive imagination enriches our understanding of embodied subjectivity.
The Phenomenology of Pain is the first book-length investigation of its topic to appear in English. Groundbreaking, systematic, and illuminating, it opens a dialogue between phenomenology and such disciplines as cognitive science and cultural anthropology to argue that science alone cannot clarify the nature of pain experience without incorporating a phenomenological approach. Building on this premise, Saulius Geniusas develops a novel conception of pain grounded in phenomenological principles: pain is an aversive bodily feeling with a distinct experiential quality, which can only be given in original first-hand experience, either as a feeling-sensation or as an emotion. Geniusas crystallizes the fundamental methodological principles that underlie phenomenological research. On the basis of those principles, he offers a phenomenological clarification of the fundamental structures of pain experience and contests the common conflation of phenomenology with introspectionism. Geniusas analyzes numerous pain dissociation syndromes, brings into focus the de-personalizing and re-personalizing nature of chronic pain experience, and demonstrates what role somatization and psychologization play in pain experience. In the process, he advances Husserlian phenomenology in a direction that is not explicitly worked out in Husserl’s own writings.