The Relationship(s) between Imagination and Creativity

Practical information
04 December 2023

ENS, Pavillon Jardin, conference room, 29 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris


Imagination and creativity seem so inextricably intertwined. This strong tie is entrenched in ordinary language and illustrious philosophical theories of the past. Yet, quite surprisingly, contemporary philosophers have paid little attention to it. A possible explanation lies in the received view according to which imagination is neither sufficient nor necessary for creativity. In this talk I build a bridge between the philosophy of creativity and the philosophy of imagination to show that an informed view on what creativity and imagination are is likely to change how we see their relationship, questioning the insufficiency/nonnecessity claim.

The ICARUS seminar (Imagination, Creativity, Affect, Reverie, Utopia, Senses) will focus on the interdisciplinary study of the boundary line that separates, for our minds, reality from everything that transcends it. By bringing together philosophy and the cognitive sciences, we will explore the capacities and states (notably imagination and dreaming) that enable us to re-elaborate sensory and affective data and to apprehend the world from new perpectives, even from other worlds or utopias. Drawn into its wanderings and reveries, the mind is capable of producing ideas or objects deemed novel and valuable, in other words, of pispaying creativity. But how far can we take this power that we have received as a species (and perhaps not just us, human beings) ? It is advisable not to fly too close to the sun.