"Reason is to imagination as the instrument to the agent, as the body to the spirit, as the shadow to the substance"
Compares the relationship of reason to imagination. Two categories of "mental action": reason and imagination.
- Reason is based on principles of analysis and the mention of quantities: taking things apart to determine the relations between diverse parts.
- Imagination is based on the principle of synthesis and the valuation of quantities. Imagination brings together diverse elements to form a unity connecting things previously unconnected
"The former may be considered as mind contemplating the relations borne by one thought to another, however produced"
Defining reason or logic and comparing it to imagination. It is taking things apart to determine the relations between diverse parts
"Mind acting upon those thoughts so as to color them with its own light, and composing from them, as from elements, other thoughts, each containing within itself the principle of its own integrity"
Defining imagination and its relationship to reason.
Defends poetry as an expression of the imagination. It brings together diverse elements to form a unity connecting things previously unconnected.
"The great secret of morals is love, or a going out of our own nature, and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in thought, action, or person, not our own. A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively..."
Poetry can have an edifying moral effect: comes down to love being the purpose of poetry
Poetry achieves an effect of ecstasy or standing outside of one's self
It transcends one's "self" through identification with the "other
Poets are heros of all people, because they have the ability to think outside of themselves in order to share imagination and bring eternal pleasure to others
"... he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is the imagination, and poetry administers to the effect by acting upon the cause"
Extends the definition of poet to all of us
Everyone imagines and creates in some way or another
Shelly's democratic instincts are the reverse of the ideas of Plato
"Poetry strengthens the faculty which is the organ of the moral nature of man, in the same manner as exercise strengthens a limb. A poet therefore would do ill to embody his own conceptions of right and wrong in his poetical creations"
Poetry facilitates the process of going out of our own nature and thinking outside of ourselves, basis this imperative in a sense of divinity
Conception of an encompassing morality that transcends any one religion or institution