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Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences (2005) 4: 133153

Springer 2005

Dening imagination: Sartre between Husserl and Janet1 BEATA STAWARSKA

Department of Philosophy, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, U.S.A. (E-mail: stawarsk@uoregon.edu) Abstract. The essay traces the double, phenomenological and psychological, background of Sartres theory of the imagination. Insofar as these two phenomenological and psychological currents are equally inuential for Sartres theory of the imagination, his intellectual project is situated in an inter-disciplinary research area which combines the descriptive analyses of Edmund Husserl with the clinical reports and psychological theories of Pierre Janet. While Husserl provides the foundation for the prevailing theory of imagination as pictorial representation, Janets ndings on obsessive behavior enrich an alternative current in Sartres thinking about imagination as spontaneous and self-determined creativity. Key words: Husserl, imagination, Janet, phenomenological psychology, Sartre

The objective of this essay is to trace the double, phenomenological and psychological, background of Sartres theory of the imagination, presented in his treatise Limaginaire and announced in a preceding critical study Limagination (see Sartre 1972, 1983, 1986). I intend to demonstrate that these two phenomenological and psychological currents are equally inuential for Sartres own theory of the imagination, and so that his intellectual project is situated in an inter-disciplinary research area which combines the descriptive analyses of Edmund Husserl with the clinical reports and psychological theories of Pierre Janet. The interest of this essay lies then not simply in documenting the undeniable indebtedness of Sartre to other scholars no philosopher works in an intellectual vacuum but more importantly in demonstrating that some of the key texts produced in the post-Husserlian phenomenology result from a deliberate crossing of the disciplines, with enlightenment and inspiration for phenomenological reection being found directly in the research results of the applied sciences. I will address Husserls and Janets inuence on Sartres theory of the imagination respectively. In Limaginaire Sartre develops a rigorous project of formulating a uniform theory of the imagination. This uniform theory hangs on the claim that a range of apparently disparate objects such as portraits (e.g. the portrait of Charles VIII in the Ofces of Florence), caricatures, actors imitations (Franconay imitating Maurice Chevalier), schematic drawings and hypnagogic images belong to one family and can therefore be subsumed under the heading of the image family (la famille de limage) (Sartre 1986, pp. 40112; 1983, pp. 1762). The term picture family might better capture the dening characteristic of imagination theorized by Sartre though, since the author states that images function as pictorial representations of absent, and possibly even non-existent,



entities. It is the function of depicting something or someone, shared by portraits, caricatures, actors imitations, drawings and mental images, that allows Sartre to arrive at a uniform theory of imagination. Imagination gets theorized in terms of an image (or picture) family where all images (or pictures) are functionally identical (Sartre 1986, p. 43; 1983, p. 18). Sartres theory of imagination as image/picture family nds its principal source of inspiration in the Husserls writings available at Sartres time, notably in the Ideas I.2 Sartre praised Husserl in fact for having blazed the trail for his own theory of the imagination, even though he regretted that the scattered and fragmentary character of Husserls observations on imagination contained in the Ideas I makes their exposition exceedingly difcult (Sartre 1972, p. 143). For the sake of being complete I shall therefore comment on Husserls later published texts in what follows as well, especially as they point to some difculties inherent in an exclusively pictorial account of imaginary activity and raise the question of how Sartre countered these difculties in his own theory. To the principal merits of Husserls phenomenological theory belong, in Sartres view, rstly, explicating the intentional structure of conscious acts, including the imaginary acts of consciousness, and, secondly, laying the ground for the assimilation of pure fantasy with the consciousness of physical pictures (paintings, drawings, photographs). The latter contribution is especially important in that it provides the basis for Sartres own unitary theory of imagination which subsumes mental images and physical pictures in one extended family. Consider these two principal insights which Sartre draws from Husserls observations in the Ideas I in more detail. According to Sartre, the principal merit of the intentionality thesis is that it provides the only means of preserving the transcendence of the object of a conscious act, whether perceptual or imaginary. Dening consciousness in terms of intentionality ultimately breaks with any form of immanentism where the object of consciousness gets identied with a content in consciousness, and so where its transcendent character with regard to consciousness is compromised. Sartre targets Berkeleys idealism for having reduced transcendent objects to their mode of appearance, and so reduced the objective world to subjective impressions. The intentionality thesis permits, Sartre contends, to restore the transcendent character to the world, because the intendum ceases to be the content of the subjective act. To be sure, the act of consciousness is still composed of impressional data, but these hyletic components of a subjective act are not to be confused with the object of a conscious act (Sartre 1972, p. 132). More importantly still, the intentionality thesis provides the ultimate means of breaking away with a long and faulty tradition of theorizing imagination as a variant of perception. Sartres critical studies of the dominant theories of imagination produced in the history of Western philosophy, from Descartes to Bergson, aim to dissipate the common illusion haunting these theories that the image is a sort of a lesser thing, a trace of the perceived object. This illusion



gives rise to, what Sartre calls, the naive ontology of the image for which [t]he image is made into a copy of the thing, existing as a thing. (Sartre 1972, p. 4). Sartre objects, however, that images are not lingering impressions left behind by antecedent perception and imagination is not a secondary perception of reections of perceptual objects left behind in consciousness. Images are not, as Hume would have it, weak perceptions.3 If the difference between perception and imagination lay in the intensity of impression only (perceptual objects are given with greater vivacity than images) and if there was no difference in kind between perception and imagination, then there would be no absolute way of distinguishing the two, yet one has no problems telling them apart. The upshot of this argument is that the procedure of locating images in the mind renders it impossible to distinguish between perception and imagination; furthermore, it falls prey to the illusion of immanence which takes consciousness to be a receptacle for mental representations. The intentionality thesis permits to theorize imagination otherwise than as observation of perceptual traces left behind in consciousness with the minds eye. The image ceases being an immanent psychic content. Sartre refers to Husserls example of imagining a centaur playing the ute from Section 23 of Ideas I to illustrate this point. Following Husserl, the centaur produced in this ight of fancy can be called a mental representation only as long as it is understood that we mean by representation what is represented rather than a psychic state. The centaur can thus be termed an intentional object of the imaginary consciousness even though it does not have an independent existence and is no more than a product of the mind. It exists neither in the soul nor in consciousness nor anywhere. It does not exist at all, it is invention through and through. (Sartre 1972, p. 133). Sartre thus credits Husserl for having restored to the centaur, in the very heart of its unreality, its transcendence. (Ibid., 134). The centaur can be regarded as a transcendent nothing (Ricoeur 1981, p. 170), irreducible to the mental act despite its non-existence. As previously noted, Sartre does not deny there being a real content in the imaginary act despite the imaginary object being a nothing. The question of what makes up this psychic content is discussed fully in Limaginaire, and will be taken up in further sections of this essay. It sufces to note at this stage that, following Sartres line of thought, the impressional matter or stuff of imaginary consciousness supports the assimilation of pure fantasy, such as imagining a ute-playing-centaur, with the consciousness of a physical picture, such as a painting, a drawing or a photograph. Sartre nds the germ of this assimilation in another passage from the Ideas I, where Husserl comments on D urers engraving The Knight, Death and the Devil. Husserl distinguishes there between two ways in which the engraving can be apprehended: it can be an object of a normal perception, where it is grasped as a physical thing, a sheet of printed paper, or it can be an object of aesthetic contemplation where the gures of the Knight, Death and the



Devil get represented in image or where we are directed to the imaged realities (abgebildet), the knight in esh and blood, etc. This passage leads Sartre to conclude that the consciousness of a physical picture, for example The Knight, Death and the Devil engraving, can be aligned with an act of pure fantasy, e.g. imagining a ute playing centaur, in that both acts consist of intentionally animating some content, which may be either physical or mental (Sartre 1972, p. 135). The foundation for Sartres image/ picture family is thus established on the basis of relevant passages from Ideas I. As previously noted, Sartre could not have been familiar with Husserls lectures on picture consciousness, even though he was knowledgeable of their existence (Sartre 1972, p. 136; Husserl 1980). It is helpful therefore to briey overview some relevant points from Husserls lectures, especially since Husserls investigations into imaginary consciousness initially led him to take the function of pictorial representation as essential to imagination as a whole. One can therefore trace a picture family in Husserls theory of imaginary acts as well, which combines the consciousness of a physical or external picture (a usseres Bildbewusstsein) with that of an internal picture of pure fantasy, or what Sartre terms a mental image. It is equally instructive to highlight the difculties inherent in the unitary theory of imagination as picture consciousness encountered by Husserl, in view of subsequently articulating how Sartre countered these difculties in Limaginaire. Husserls elaboration of picture consciousness is part of the analysis of intuitive acts whose object is either present in person or is not itself present but represented. The former presentation of the object is a perception, the latter, a re-presentation of the object by means of a picture. Perception enjoys the bodily (leibhaft) presence of the object; picture consciousness is limited to a mediate, as if revelation of the object. The picture can be physical or external as in a painting, a photograph, a sculpture. The consciousness of such a physical or an external picture is a complex act which combines perceptual apprehension of a physical picture with an apprehension aiming at the absent object (a piece of landscape, a person) represented by this picture. The latter apprehension succeeds in transforming the physical thing (piece of canvas, sheet of photographic paper, block of stone) into a picture properly so-called, i. e. into an object where an absent person or thing is brought into a phantom-like presence. The two apprehensions at work in the overall consciousness of a picture are co-dependent and their concerted action makes an intuitive presentation of something absent in the (present) picture possible. Perceptual apprehension gives picture consciousness its intuitive character, while nonperceptual apprehension fantasizes the absent object into the physical thing and turns it into a picture. Picture consciousness involves therefore three interrelated elements: the picture-thing (Bildding), i.e. the physical thing (a piece of canvas, of paper, of stone) which serves as the material of the picture; the



picture-object (Bildobjekt), i.e. the picture apprehended not simply as a perceptual object but as a representation of a referent i.e. of the so-called picture-subject (Bildsujet).4 Following Husserl, pictorial representation can also be also at work in the imaginary activity of fantasy, as well as in memory. In that case, physical or perceptual picture/image becomes replaced by an internal and non-physical one. Is this to say that the triple picture thing/subject/object/structure can also be discerned in fantasy, which no longer supports itself on physical or external things? Images, unlike physical pictures, are not independent from the consciousness that apprehends them; they are contents of consciousness, forming an integral and internal part of an imaginary experience. Unlike the physical picture which persists as a piece of canvas, paper, or stone, even though it ceases to function as a pictorial representation of an absent being, the internal picture does not survive the end of the fantasy episode, there is nothing left of it once the subject ceases to fantasize. The question arises whether such an immaterial picture can serve the function of representing an absent picture-subject or how an evanescent no-thing can be a symbol of another thing. Material content seems indispensable if the picture is to full its representational function: only as a perceptual thing can a picture yield an intuitive apprehension of an absent referent. In order to function as a representation (Bildobjet), the picture must be a thing (Bildding), i.e. there must be a physical support if the picture is to symbolize the absent picture-subject (Bildsujet). Yet such physical support is wanting in the case of internal pictures. In fantasy, it is impossible to distinguish a picture-thing from the picture-subject it represents, and so it is difcult to see how the internal picture can serve the symbolic function at all. One can therefore hardly sustain the interpretation of fantasy as the consciousness of non-physical pictures and preserve a uniform theory of imagination as picture consciousness.5 These difculties led Husserl to progressively abandon the picture consciousness theory as paradigm for the imagination. The question to raise then is whether Sartres account of the imagination, which rehabilitates the theory of pictorial representation and conjoins, in a manner analogous to early Husserl, external and internal or, to use Sartres terminology, physical and mental pictures, can counter similar difculties. Sartre assimilates physical pictures and images based on their shared analogizing function, i.e. on the function of making an absent entity appear by means of an analogue. The denition of imagination reads therefore as follows: it is an act [of consciousness] which aims at an absent or non-existent object as a body (dans sa corpor eit e), by means of a physical or mental content which is present only as an analogical representative of the object aimed at. (Sartre 1986, p. 46; 1983, p. 20). The question that arises at this stage is whether pure fantasy can be included in this denition. When discussing Husserls identication of fantasy with picture consciousness, I noted



that an object must have material content in order to function as a picture and that insofar as internal pictures do not seem to have any content, it is difcult to understand how they could depict or represent their referent. It seems that Sartres denition of imaginary consciousness, mapping the structure of (physical) picture consciousness onto fantasy, is bound to encounter a similar difculty of accounting for how mental images could serve as analogues of other absent entities. However, following Sartre, mental images, even though they are not physical things but internal representations, do have material content nevertheless. The only difference between physical pictures and mental images consists in the fact that the former have material content which can be perceived in a non-analogizing way, i.e., not as an analogue of another absent entity but as a visible material thing, whereas the latter cannot be perceived in that way (Sartre 1986, p. 111; 1983, p. 61). In the case of a photograph or a caricature, the material can be perceived for itself: it is not intended to function as the material of an image. [il nentre pas dans sa nature propre quelle doive fonctionner comme mati` ere dimage] This photograph, taken by itself, is a thing: I can try to ascertain the duration of its exposure by its color, the product used to tone it and x it, etc.; the caricature is a thing: I can take pleasure in studying its lines and colors without thinking that they were intended to represent something. (Sartre 1986, p. 42; 1983, p. 17). In case of mental images, however, the material is not accessible in a direct fashion, and that is why the material of the mental image is more difcult to determine. (Sartre 1986, p. 42; Sartre 1983, p. 18). Still, it is evident that the mental image must also have a material (Ibid.). Sartre reiterates that point elsewhere in the text: we know since this is an essential necessity that in the mental image there is a physical data (un donn e physique) which functions as an analogue but when we wish to ascertain more clearly the nature and components of this data we are reduced to conjectures. (Sartre 1986, p. 111; 1983, p. 61).6 What essential necessity stipulates that mental images have content? An imaginary experiment proposed by Sartre provides elements of the response (Sartre 1986, pp. 4041; 1983, p. 17). I wish to recall the face of my friend Peter. I make an effort and I produce a certain imaginary consciousness of him. But my objective is very imperfectly attained: certain details are lacking, others are suspect, the whole is very blurred. There is a certain feeling of sympathy and pleasantness that I want to restore to the face but which will not come. I do not give up, I rise and take a photograph from a drawer. It is an excellent portrait of Peter, it gives me all the details of his face, even some that had escaped me. But the photograph lacks life; it presents perfectly the external traits of Peters face; it does not give his expression. Fortunately I posses a skillfully drawn caricature of him. This time the facial features are



deliberately distorted, the nose is much too long, the cheeks too prominent, etc. Nevertheless, what is missing in the photograph, vitality, expression, is clearly present in the drawing: I rediscover Peter. In this imaginary experiment, the three images/pictures served a predetermined aim of representing a concrete yet absent referent, thus lending themselves to being subsumed under the form of picture consciousness. Gradually moving from the mental image through the photograph to the caricature, we moved from less to more representative representations of Peter, i.e. from the unsatisfactory representation in the mental image (lacking detail and expression) to more adequate representations in the photo and the caricature (the detail is present and the expression is restored). It can be concluded that the passage from the mental image to the caricature is uniform in that each of the steps grants a (at rst partial and then gradually more complete) fulllment of the original aim. The mental image, the photo and the caricature appear as three stages of the same process, three moments of a unique act. (Ibid.). And yet, Sartre adds, only the rst one is usually termed an image. A question arises whether it is justied to reserve this term for subjective representations (Ibid.) only and whether objective representations (Ibid.) like photos and caricatures should not be called images as well. In Sartres view, they certainly should, insofar as they share the function of bringing an absent referent into intuitive quasi-presence. According to Sartre, it is not only plausible but even necessary to argue for the materiality of internal pictures on the basis of the analogical character they share with physical pictures. Throughout the above recounted imaginary experiment, the aim remains the same: I want to recall Peter, yet since Peter is not there, I have recourse to a certain material (Sartre 1986, p. 42; 1983, p. 17), which renders Peter present in a quasi-way. In order to make the materiality of mental pictures evident, I need only compare my initial empty intention with my mental image of Peter. At rst I wanted to produce Peter out of the void, and then something loomed up which lled in my intention. The three cases are therefore strictly parallel. They are three situations with the same form, but in which the material varies. (Sartre 1986, p. 42; 1983, p. 18). Insofar as the mental image fulls my originally empty intention of wanting to recall Peter and succeeds in representing Peter, even though in an imperfect way, it must share the material character of physical pictures and must therefore have a content. I cannot know with absolute certainty that there is one, and yet the representational potential of mental images constrains me to argue that they are non-empty.7 The problem encountered by Husserl of how there could be internal pictorial representations seems therefore to have been disposed of. Insofar as the mental image has a content, it is transcendent to the consciousness that apprehends it and can represent another entity in the way a physical picture does. Both mental



images and physical pictures are said to be objects of consciousness (Sartre 1986, p. 110; 1983, p. 61), even though the transcendence of mental picture needs to be differentiated from that of physical ones. The mental picture, or better, its content, does not have the exteriority (ext eriorit e translated as objectivity) which belongs to the physical picture. We see a portrait, a caricature, a blot (une tache): but we do not see a mental image. To see an object is to localize it in space, between this table and that carpet, at a certain height, to my right or left. But mental images do not mingle with surrounding objects (ne se m elent pas aux objets qui mentourent). (Sartre 1986, p. 109110; 1983, p. 60). The transcendence of the mental image is not to be interpreted in terms of the exteriority of a perceptual object but has to do solely with the representational character of an object grasped as an analogue of something other (Ibid.). Sartre terms that sort of transcendence the transcendence of the representative (Sartre 1986, p. 10; 1983, p. 61), in contradistinction from the transcendence of a physical thing (Ibid.).8 A question that still remains unanswered, however, is whether all imaginary experiences must necessarily involve pictorial representations. If imagination consists in representation by means of (mental and physical) content, then the imaginary act that does not support itself on an image/picture either cannot take place or cannot qualify as imaginary. And yet Sartre does admit that some imaginary experiences are not accompanied by images as in the case of aesthetic appreciation of an artistic work, say a novel (Sartre 1986, p. 126; 1983, p. 70). Another question left open is whether a picture consciousness theory of imagination, which reduces imagination to a search for representations of absent entities, does not assume that imagination has a merely reproductive and not creative or productive function. As such, it raises the question of how to theorize ction within the picture consciousness framework. In fact, upon examination, it turns out impossible to subsume ction under the category of pictorial representation and its double picture-original structure. Ricoeur (1981), for example, has pointed out to the difculties of theorizing ction within the picture family paradigm. Recall the example of the fantasy of a ute-playing centaur analyzed by Husserl in Section 23, Ideas I. In this case, Ricoeur notes, it is impossible to draw a distinction between the real and the represented object, and so to subsume the fantasy of a centaur under consciousness of a pictorial representation of an absent referent. The object of imaginary consciousness is one, even though it does not exist. Yet it can be termed an object of consciousness nevertheless, since it is not a psychic state, it is not the invention itself (Ricoeur 1981, p. 170). Up to that point Sartre is in agreement with Ricoeur, as will be clear to the reader from the previous discussion of the intentional character of the imaginary consciousness. The contention between Sartre and Ricoeur arises due to the former subsuming the relation to a non-existent object under reproductive consciousness, forcing the unreal centaur into the picture-model structure.



Ricoeur argues that the referent of the ction and the referent of the picture cannot be treated within the same framework. [. . .] But in Limagination it is uncritically assumed that the theory of the picture may be extended to that of the ction, and vice versa. (Ibid.). The procedure of identifying picture consciousness with ction is unjustied and has the consequence of making one forget that ction is a creative process, which produces its object rather than merely representing it. In more general terms, the picture consciousness theory of imagination leads to positing the primacy of the original, (Ibid.) i.e., it gives primacy to the perceptual experience of a given entity and endows imagination with the subservient role of providing replicas of it. This seems to ultimately undermine the validity of the guiding line of Sartres project, namely that the image and the perception, far from being two elementary psychical factors of similar quality and which simply enter into different combinations, represent the two main irreducible attitudes of consciousness (les deux grandes attitudes irr eductibles de la conscience). (Sartre 1986, p. 231; 1983, p. 138). It can be objected, however, that Sartres understanding of the image in terms of an intentional relation to a transcendent object rather than an immanent psychic content may support a non-representational paradigm of the imagination. After all, having chased images outside of consciousness, Sartre proclaims that the image stands only for the way in which consciousness intends its object. The word image can [. . .] indicate only the relation of consciousness to the object; in other words, it means a certain manner in which the object makes its appearance to consciousness, or, if one prefers, a certain way in which consciousness presents an object to itself. (Sartre 1986, p. 21; 1983, p. 5). As a pure intentional relation, the image is therefore not a content in consciousness. Yet it is extremely difcult to square this claim with the denition of the image as an analogical representative, i. e., an object, either exterior to consciousness due to being a physical thing or transcendent to it in virtue of its representational character. These two conicting claims (the image is a relation and a picture) both serve the purpose of dislodging the image from consciousness: the argument that the image is a relation prevents all attempts of inserting images into consciousness; the argument that the image is a picture supposes that it is transcendent to consciousness. Yet the implications of these two arguments and the theories of imagination built upon them are strikingly different. Following the former account, one need not invoke representational character of imagination and its dependence on perceptual givenness of the original. In this perspective, imagination is as Sartre wanted it to be an intentional relation equal in dignity and yet irreducible to perception. However, if the picture consciousness theory is advocated, then it is an analogue, i.e. the object mediating my access to something absent, which deserves the name of the image, and which is a condition sine qua non of an imaginary experience. As long as the latter theory is followed, imaginary



consciousness does not appear as a pure relation but as a consciousness of two objects: the picture/image and the original. A consequence of that formulation is the assumption of the primacy of the original, which turns imagination, despite or against Sartres intentions, into a servant of perception. It appears therefore that Sartres overtly unitary theory of imagination is destabilized by an inner tension between two non-identical accounts. This tension is manifest in the list of the four possible positional theses Sartre assigns to imaginary consciousness. Imaginary consciousness can posit its object: as non-existent, or as absent, or as existing elsewhere; imaginary consciousness can also neutralize itself, that is, not posit its object as existing (Sartre 1986, p. 32; 1983, pp. 1112). These positional theses express the fact that the imaginary object is not present in person, but they do it in different ways. The rst thesis states that the object, insofar as it does not exist, cannot be made present in esh and blood at all. It is impossible to perceive e.g. a ute playing centaur, even though it is possible to imagine it. The centaur is a mythical being, and so, even if one day I was to come across a being that displayed all the features of a centaur, still I could not claim that I have encountered the chimera in person.9 Fictional beings are encountered in the imaginary realm only. As for the theses 2 and 3, they are interrelated and express the fact that the object can in principle be perceived but at the moment it is not present in person. The second thesis is purely negative and stipulates that the object, e.g. my friend Peter, is absent; the third thesis is a positive reformulation of the preceding one and it can supply further information concerning the object (Peter is in Berlin). The fourth thesis expresses a general suspension of belief in regard to the imagined object. For example, When I look at the photographs in a magazine they mean nothing to me, that is, I may look at them without any thought that their subjects exist. (Si je regarde les photos du journal, elles peuvent tr` es bien ne rien me dire, cest-` a-dire que je les regarde sans faire de position dexistence.) (Sartre 1986, p. 55; 1983, p. 26). In this case, I abstain from deciding whether the object exists or not, is alive or dead, could or could not be met in person. All the theses state that the imagined object is absent in the general sense of not-being here. The absence seems most radical in the case of the rst thesis: non-existent beings cannot de jure be perceived, their absence can never be substituted by presence. The objects whose existence is put into brackets may but need not be capable of being rendered present. Absent and existent elsewhere beings can, on the other hand, in principle be encountered in esh and blood. One wonders, however, whether it is still justied to subsume the suspended existence and non-existence of purely ctional characters under the heading of absence. It seems more appropriate to take suspended existence and non-existence as the contrary of posited existence, and to ascribe absence and presence (existential categories) to beings that are posited as existent only. A centaur cannot be absent (nor present), since it does not belong to



the class of things posited as existent. This being so, the centaur (and any other ctional being) can no longer be argued to function as a referent of a picture representing something absent, and consciousness imagining a centaur cannot be mapped onto the consciousness of a picture representing an external referent or an original. The difculty of forcing ction and fantasy into the rigid framework of pictorial representation becomes apparent again. At the same time, an alternative approach to the imagination becomes manifest in Sartres account: the suspension of belief in the reality of the imagined world. In the remaining part of this essay, this alternative approach will be traced back to Janets observations on obsessive behavior, notably the socalled diminution of the reality function (la diminution de la fonction du r eel) apparent therein. This latter approach unveils a possibility of conceptualizing imagination differently than as a purely reproductive process of fabricating imperfect copies of perceptual reality. Imagination can be theorized as an activity of transcending the real and producing the unreal, wherein the subject re-asserts its creative potential and freedom.10 Furthermore, it is no longer necessary to stipulate that pictorial representations are a condition sine qua non of imaginary experiences: imagination theorized as suspension of belief may but need not necessarily include visual content. Room is therefore open for imaginary attitudes without images, for example, aesthetic appreciation of ction. Consider Sartres remarks about suspension of belief in the cases of ction reading, as well as dreaming, and hallucination, before assessing Janets inuence on the formers views. When reading a novel, Sartre says, one adopts an imaginary attitude with regards to the world represented in it. That is not to say that one actually produces mental images to illustrate the narrative; images appear rather when we cease reading or when our attention begins to wander (les images apparaissent aux arr ets et aux rat es de la lecture) (Sartre 1986, p. 126; 1983, p. 70)). Why then take reading to be an imaginary attitude? It has to do with the ctional character of the world of the novel in which the reader becomes engaged: the world enjoys a complete existence in the unreal (Ibid.). The reader comes to believe in the world of the novel if belief is dened as fascination without existential assumption ( fascination sans position dexistence) (Sartre 1986, p. 326; 1983, p. 197). For reading is a sort of fascination and when I am reading a detective story I believe in what I am reading. But this does not mean in the least that I fail to look upon the adventures of the detective as imaginary. (Ibid.) Not dependent on a sequence of images, each of which would stand for an absent referent, the imaginary experience of reading has more to do with enlarging the limits of ones possible experience by living a life in the unreal. The intense engagement in a ctional world aligns the example of reading with other imaginary experiences, such as dreaming and hallucination. A dream is structurally similar to reading, in that it usually consists of a sequence



of interrelated events unfolding in time. Hence every dream is a story (Sartre 1986, p. 322; 1983, p. 195), and it is frequently dreamt as a tale that is read or narrated by someone (Sartre 1986, p. 320; 1983, p. 194). The feeling of belonging to the story is however more intensely lived in a dream than in a literary narrative, due to a more profound identication with a character representing me in the dream that could ever be realized in aesthetic contemplation (Sartre 1986, p. 331; 1983, p. 200). In dreaming, the conscious self ceases being an external spectator and turns into a captivated participant of the unreal scenario. Yet despite this intensely lived participation in the dream world, the positional character of the conscious act remains the same as in the case of reading. The dreamer, as the reader of a novel, may be said to believe in the dream story. However, that does not turn the content of the dream into a reality posited as existent: the positional thesis of the imaginary consciousness remains that of suspended existential belief.11 In fact, as Sartres analyses demonstrate, the moment the dreaming consciousness starts attributing reality to things, it necessarily wakes up. Referring to a dream in which the red coloration of the sun light passing across a screen was experienced as standing for blood, Sartre observes that grasping the red light as blood in a dream does not mean that red light produces a mental image of blood in consciousness; nor is red light apprehended directly by the dreamer. It is the red light which is experienced as blood. It is the way we have of apprehending it. (Sartre 1986, p. 317; 1983, p. 192). The dreamer does not posit the blood as something existent a dream is not a hallucinatory perception. The object is simply grasped as if it were blood; the red color invites a comparison with blood without leading to a (false) perceptual identication of the light with the bodily liquid. Sartre comments that in a dream, things are grasped . . . not for what they are but as analogues of other realities. (Sartre 1986, p. 316; 1983, p. 191). He refers to certain dreams cited by Janet, which clearly show how a successively repeated noise is experienced as standing for a number of different objects but never for itself. Hence the noise of an alarm clock is at rst experienced as an analogue of the noise of a fountain, the ringing of bells, the rolling of a drum, etc. Once we apprehend the striking for what it is (that is, a succession of shrill and vibrant sounds) (Ibid.), i. e. once we posit the striking as existent, we shift from the imaginary attitude to the perceptual one and wake up (Sartre 1986, pp. 317318; 1983, p. 192). One might conclude from the above that Sartre should make a distinction between dreaming and hallucination, the latter involving a (false) positional belief in the reality of the hallucinatory world. Recall, however, that Sartre regards imaginary activity as a free act of consciousness, wherein consciousness re-asserts its creative potential. And as Dufrenne observes, this freedom to posit the unreal implies that the positional act of the image-forming consciousness is well aware (of) itself in other words, the imaginary cannot create an illusion (Duffrenne 1987, p. 47). It follows that the imaginary consciousness



cannot believe in the hallucinations it has itself produced, just as it cannot believe in the reality of the dream. The task taken up by Sartre in the discussion of the Pathology of the imagination (Sartre 1986, pp. 285308; 1983, pp. 171186) is then to demonstrate that hallucination involves a consciousness enchanted by its own production of (un)realities, unable to emerge from the hallucinatory world just as it cannot decide to wake up from a dream, and yet never believing in them in the way it believes in the world of perception. Sartre challenges the possibility of a veritable hallucination primarily by disputing the claim that a hallucinating person could attribute reality to the hallucinatory vision in the same measure that she would posit the perceptual world as existent. The hallucinating person cannot be said to oscillate between these two equally real, from her, even though not from an external observers point of view, worlds. The hallucinating person does not gain a supplementary reality cut off from direct access of non-pathological subjects, and to be inferred from the overt behavior of the one who hallucinates. The hallucinating person is rather a victim of a generalized weakening of the sense of the real (affaiblissement du sens du reel), an alteration affecting the entire consciousness which prevents her as much from positing the reality of the perceptual as of the imaginary world (Sartre 1986, p. 293; 1983, p. 176). Referring to a case of a motor hallucination of a man whose voice remains the same when others speak to him but (who) knows when it is they who speak and when it is he (Ibid.), Sartre comments that this patient might be just as unable to perceive his speech normally when he attributes it to himself as when he claims that it originates from an external source. It is from the point of view of an external observer only that the patients attribution of his speech to himself seems to be a normal act of perception because it happens to be correct; in fact, the patients perception is hallucinatory throughout this curious monologue a ` deux: the patient hallucinates as much when he assumes that the words he is emitting are his own as when he attributes them to another. (Sartre 1986, p. 294; 1983, p. 177; translation corrected). This double inability to have veritable and false perceptions applies not only to cases of motor but also of auditory and visual hallucinations according to Sartre. In all cases, the perceptual world is dreamt or fantasized by the patient in an equal measure as are his hallucinations. Without expressly crediting Pierre Janet for the above interpretation, Sartres argument about the weakening of the sense of the real closely follows the formers views on the generalized diminishment of the sense of reality in obsession. Janet commented that the obsessive patients, whom he also described as the scrupulous because of their attachment to minute even though apparently banal details, have lost both a sense of reality and an ability to fall victim to an illusion of reality, the latter being indispensable for false positional belief or hallucinatory perception. They are generally incapable of positing the content of their experience as real or existent, insofar as the necessary mental operation enabling both perception of reality and illusion of reality



has become diminished.12 Hence the pervasive feeling of the imaginary, the unreal (le sentiment de limaginaire, de lirr eel) accompanying the patients perception both of the world and of their own selves (Janet, 1919, p. 297). This unrealization results in the world being apprehended as if through a veil and with a dream-like quality, the patient often feeling as if she were a personage in a dream (Janet 1919, p. 288, 297). Janet found also that the so-called d ej` a-vu experience frequently noted amongst the obsessive population is but another example of this disturbance of perceptual functions and not, as habitually claimed, of memory. The d ej` a-vu feeling is a negation of the present character of a perceived phenomenon rather than an afrmation of its past or elapsed (pass e) character, and as such exemplies the generalized loss of reality in obsession (Janet 1919, p. 296). The diminishment of the reality function, accompanied by unaffected selfawareness as well as recurrent stereotyped thoughts and images, belong to the clinical picture of obsessive behavior compiled by Janet; these features provide also the point of departure for Sartres reections on the imaginary consciousness in hallucination. Insofar as the notion of the diminution of the sense of reality represents the principal trait of the obsessive condition, it is not surprising to nd Sartre apply this condition as a paradigm for theorizing the hallucinatory states, the loss of reality being supposedly structurally analogous in hallucination to the one observed in obsessive behavior (Sartre 1986, p. 295; 1983, p. 177). However, it should not be forgotten that Janet himself wavered before qualifying the imaginary disturbances occurring in obsession as complete full-blown hallucinations and regarded them rather as imperfect pseudo-hallucinatory states due precisely to their lack of positional belief. This difference reects the divergence between Janets and Sartres views regarding the possibility of veritable hallucinations accompanied by positional belief. The clinical category which regroups the symptoms of compulsive obsession in Janets nosography bears the name of psychasthenia, and belongs to the two major nosographic forms of mental disorder studied by Janet, the latter being represented by hysteria. Without being able to compare the two groups in detail in the limited scope of this paper, let me note that while Janet (1999, p. 646) characterizes hysteria by a dissociation of personality and a so-called narrowing of the eld of consciousness (r etr ecissement du champs de la conscience), such that hysteric symptoms can occur without the apparent awareness of the person executing them, in obsession, personal consciousness remains unaffected, thus leading to a paradoxical combination of lucidity and madness (une folie lucide, un d elire avec conscience, une obsession consciente). The patient is clearly aware of her compulsively recurring images and thoughts and able to report their content in detail to the therapist, even though unable to subject them to her control.13 Psychasthenia testies therefore to a possible dissociation between consciousness and voluntary action,



demonstrating that consciousness may operate independently or even in a direct antagonism to the precepts of the will. This lack of identity between consciousness and the agency of the will advocated by Janet provides a critical insight not only for Sartres understanding of pathological forms of imagination but also for the more general argument concerning the nature of consciousness. According to Sartre, the egological center of voluntary action (I will) is not a subject but rather an object external or transcendent to conscious life.14 Consider some examples of imaginary experiences which combine this loss of voluntary control with unaffected consciousness. One example, cited in Limaginaire (Sartre 1986, p. 296; 1983, p. 178), is provided by Janets patient Claire, who was tormented over the years by a frequently recurring vision of a naked man, or more precisely of the exposed masculine genitalia, in the process of profaning holy bread. Another tormenting image is provided by the patient On. . ., who has the vision of the soul emerging from the bottom of his deceased uncle (Janet 1919, p. 10). These two examples of obsessive thoughts enact unsettling juxtapositions of the spiritual and the holy with the profane. Typically, however, obsessive images are much more banal and stereotyped, and what is most distressing is not the content but rather the frequency of the obsession. Sartre contended in fact that the limited variation of content in obsessive phenomena, typically repeating a xed imaginary scene or thought ad innitum, is in line with the poverty of content of hallucinatory phenomena in general. Despite the apparent inexhaustible richness of images in hallucination, hallucinatory episodes tend to consist of minimal content, be it a sequence of banal insults in auditory hallucinations or a limited number of shapes and personages in visual hallucinations. This poverty of content lends further support to the analogy between obsession and hallucination in Sartres view (Sartre 1986, p. 295; 1983, p. 178). The attractiveness of the pathological condition affecting consciousness itself in psychasthenia to Sartres phenomenology does not come as a surprise. Unlike in hysteria, the psychasthenic condition does not take the form of dramatic crises intermittent with periods of relative tranquility, but consists rather in continuous mental preoccupation with a given subject, punctuated simply by moments of exasperation (Janet 1999, p. 640). The temporality of obsession can therefore be equated with that of consciousness itself, and obsession can provide insight not only into imagination but also into conscious life in general. Since the work of Janet, it has been recognized that the obsession is not a strange body that occupies consciousness in spite of itself like a stone in the liver. In fact, the obsession is a consciousness; and consequently it has the same traits of spontaneity and autonomy as does the rest of consciousness. (Sartre 1986, p. 296; 1983, p. 178). Sartre believes that obsession unveils the so-called impersonal spontaneity as the dynamic force driving the consciousness to produce disquieting



thoughts and images. This is what the works of Janet on psychasthenics show: the tragic nature of the obsession is derived from the fact that the mind forces itself to reproduce the object of which it stands in fear. There is no mechanical reappearance of the haunting image nor a monoideism in the classical sense of the term: but the obsession is willed, reproduced by a sort of dizziness (vertige), by a spasm of spontaneity. (Sartre 1986, p. 241; 1983, p. 142). Narratives of Janets patients conrm this experience of an upsurge of an impersonal force as the motor of their obsession; one patient comments that it is not me who thinks, who chooses the subject of these thoughts; it is rather something that thinks in me and I do no more than feel what it thought in my head. She adds that it is more effective to resign to the ow of images and ideas than to bring them to a halt, thus pointing to the feelings of loss of agency and depersonalization which typically accompany the obsessive condition (Janet 1903, p. 266, my translation). Janet observed that this loss of personal control over the course of ones mental states may lead to the attribution of ones inner experience to external sources, with the patient reporting being under a direct inuence of foreign agents who make him think obsessive thoughts irrespectively of her will (Janet 1999, p. 678). This syndrome of inuence does not, however, mask the origin of obsessive episodes within consciousness, as Sartre notes, in accordance with Janet (Sartre 1986, p. 301; 1983, p. 181). Consider an example of how mental associations can be formed in obsession: a young man claims to be ill because he ate the bread coming from the baker who was indicated to his mother by an individual whose wife died on the same day on which he met a servant woman, the memory of whom troubles him and incites to genital obsessions. Janet comments that such a cascade of ideas leading from eating bread to the servant woman does not contain a natural causeeffect sequence similar to the relation between ames and re; the arbitrary mental constructions are devised by the patient himself in order to feed his obsession (Janet 1999, p. 646). Hence the patient both suffers and perpetuates his obsessive state by connecting the per se unrelated strings of ideas. He may be very well be aware of the unrealistic nature of this endeavor and the improbability of his associations, and yet is unable to bring their current to a halt.15 This compulsive mental productivity reported by Janet provides inspiration for Sartres aforementioned notion of impersonal spontaneity at work in hallucination: it is consciousness alone rather than an extrinsic source which lies at the basis of the pathology of imagination. From the point of view of the etiology of obsession documented by Janet, the liberation of consciousness impersonal spontaneity results from a general weakening of the vital and central nervous functions, otherwise termed nervous insufciency, which correspond to the so-called neurasthenic state. The origin of this state is said to be predominantly hereditary; however secondary causes, such as the intoxication of the organism resulting from continued malnutrition or a traumatizing event in the patients personal history, may



play a considerable role as well. This weakening of nervous functions alone does not yet explain the specicity of the obsessional disorder; the state of energetic depletion is said to provide the embryonic form of numerous neuroses and even psychoses (Janet 1903, p. XI). The initial lowering of nervous tension turns into a psychasthenic condition when it is accompanied by the sense of personal inadequacy (incompletude), manifested by the feelings of doubt, anxiety, and fear, which predispose one towards obsessions. As soon as some abstract and general ideas or imaginary constructions, which go beyond the initial diffuse feelings and are likely to center on a particular person or problem, become attached to these feelings of inadequacy, a passage to the clinical condition of psychasthenia proper occurs. Janet denes the psychasthenic symptoms according to two correlated perspectives, quantitative (or economic) and functional. The former refers to the individual organization of the psychic energy, the latter to a hierarchical organization of psychic functions. Economically speaking, the obsessive condition is characterized by an asthenia or weakness of the psyche (hence psych-asthenia), specically a lowering of the psychological tension. Janets psychological economy distinguishes between force, i.e. the quantity of disposable energy, whether latent or manifest, and tension, i.e. the capacity to utilize this energy at a higher or lower level in the hierarchical system of mental operations. In a non-pathological condition, there is an equilibrium between disposable force and psychological tension such that the person is able to channel her dynamic capital into normal action in the world. Should the balance between the energy level and its disposal mechanism be disturbed, as in the case of lowering of psychological tension in psychasthenia, the energy will no longer be directed outwards to concrete action but wasted in the process of compulsively recurring inner episodes, such as interminable mental ruminations, abstract speculations, anguishing doubts, manias of verication, precision and perfection. The superior psychological functions, which depend on an elevated level of psychological tension, subsumed under the function of mental synthesis (la synth` ese mentale), are perturbed as a result of this energetic imbalance. Mental synthesis is a function of adaptability to the changing environment which integrates the elements provided by perception and memory. As such, mental synthesis includes the aforementioned reality function, as well as the related psychological abilities of will and attention. These high value operations of mental synthesis are marked by the so-called co-efcient of reality, a term adopted from Spencer, which designates action and knowledge of real events. Following the principle of Janets psychological hierarchy which stipulates that the higher the reality co-efcient of an act is, the sooner does it diminish at the onset of psychasthenia, the operations of mental synthesis are the rst to wane in obsession (Janet 1903, p. 497). As a result of this suspension of superior functions, inferior mental operations which can be fully exercised despite



the lowering of psychological tension, such as non-task-directed emotions, memory and fantasy, take over. Janets hierarchical account facilitates a distinction between psychological health and illness on the basis of a polarized top/bottom scale, which distinguishes between superior high tension activities accompanied by existential belief and inferior low tension activities with existential belief suspended. Insofar as reality makes a high demand on the individual psychic economy, it is the reality function which gets affected in mental asthesia; paradoxically then, it is not cognitive ability but concrete pragmatic action that receives the most elevated place in this hierarchy of psychic functions. Based on this hierarchization of mental and practical processes, it is not surprising that the author occasionally devalues philosophical pursuits as an example of such an inferior psychic activity, removed from the demands set by the real world and derived rather from the pervasive feeling of uncertainty and doubt, which fuels a quest for apodictic knowledge and motivates existential questions of the type: does God exist? or why is there something rather than nothing? (Janet 1903, p. 302). Based on observations of his psychasthenics preoccupied with the abstract and shying the concrete, Janet concludes that cogitating is a far lower achievement than real action (Janet 1919, p. 494).16 Following the diminishment of reality in psychasthenia, mental activity is preserved intact but executed excessively, escaping the control of the will. Frequent imaginary activity, including hallucination, is but a plastic expression of this generalized liberation of mental productivity from personal control. Referring back to the case of the patient Claire, Janet comments that her sacrilegious vision marks a culmination point of a longer process of mental preoccupations with this religious subject, including prolonged studies of divine anatomy in the church (Janet 1919, p. 64). Hence it is the subjects own mental efforts that produce the image of profanation (Janet 1999, p. 647). The visual character of this symbol confers some exteriority upon it, yet it fails to appear as an element of the physical world nonetheless. Hence the lack of belief in the existence of the visual scenario, which applies, in Sartres view, to all cases of hallucinatory behavior. Janet connes it, however, to visual constructions in delirious obsession, where hallucinatory representation is accomplished only partially, despite the apparent effort of the subject to afrm the reality of what she sees. Janet speaks of a hallucinatory mania (manie de lhallucination) to underscore these futile hallucinatory efforts in obsession, in distinction from a veritable hallucination accompanied by existential belief. The latter complete form of hallucination is typical of hysteric disorders, in Janets view, where the imaginary vision attains the richness and detail akin to actual visual perception (Janet 1919, pp. 501503). As previously noted, this claim points to a limited analogy between Janets and Sartres views on what typies hallucination: it is Sartre, but not Janet, who argues, rstly, that the content of hallucination is by denition poor and



schematic, and secondly, that hallucination is never accompanied by positional belief. Despite these divergences and potential difculties in adopting Janets views on obsession as a paradigm case for hallucination, it remains uncontestable that Janets observations provide a major source of inspiration for Sartres thinking about the pathological forms of imaginary activity and feed his account of imagination as a productive rather than merely reproductive faculty. The lines of convergence between Janets account of obsessive behavior and Sartres theory of imagination include the suspension of existential belief and the related liberation of the impersonal consciousness from the constraints of reality, which facilitates the spontaneous productivity of consciousness, notably the imaginary production. It can be concluded therefore that Janets views on the effects of the obsessive condition on consciousness constructively inuenced Sartres thinking about imagination, providing a basis for an alternative theory to the one based on pictorial representation, which Sartre drew from Husserl. They are the source of an account of imagination which emphasizes the creative and unrealizing potential of the imagination, over against the primarily representational and reality-bound one contained in the picture-family theory. As such they make room for a theory of imagination which is not subservient to perception, but operates in relative independence from perceptual experience. Henceforth, even though Husserl provides the foundation for the prevailing theory of imagination as pictorial representation in Limaginaire, it is Janets clinical studies and theoretical observations on obsessive behavior that enrich the alternative current in Sartres thinking about imagination as spontaneous and self-determined creativity, which underpins both the pathological derivatives of imagination as well as its creative expression in fantasy and ction. It seems therefore valid to conclude from this overview of Husserls and Janets impact on Sartre that his early study in phenomenological psychology actively combines contributions drawn from phenomenological as well as psychological disciplines, relying in equal measure on reective and applied methods in an attempt to arrive at an exhaustive denition of the imagination.

1. Some of my discussion of Husserls inuence on Sartre was published previously in Stawarska (2001). 2. Husserl, E. 1982. In his two books on the imagination, Sartre makes references also to Husserls Logical Investigations, Cartesian Mediations and the lectures On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time. 3. According to Sartre, Humes distinction between impressions and ideas on the basis of intensity illustrates the confusion between perception and imagination very well. Following Hume, Those perceptions, which enter with most force and violence, we may name



4. 5.

6. 7.

impressions. . . By ideas I mean the faint images of these in thinking and reasoning. . .. (Hume, Treatise; quoted in Sartre 1986, p. 18; 1983, p. 2). For further analysis of the interdependence of the three elements of a picture, see e.g., Bernet, Kern and Marbach 1993, pp. 151152. See Claesens (1996, pp. 13035) discussion on the problem of material content of mental pictures. Having put into question the possibility of an internal picture, Claesen concludes: Dans lanalyse des imaginations externes, il faut [. . .] insister sur lessentialit e du Bildding pour le Bildobjekt et ainsi reconna tre la mat erialit e de limage, image qui a le pouvoir de repr esenter un sujet. Pour ce qui est de limagination interne, cette th eorie de limagination est s erieusement remise en question sil est vrai quon ne peut concevoir une image-objet transcendante qui soit en m eme temps pure ou immat erielle; si on suit ce mod` ele, alors une imagination interne est proprement impossible. Translation corrected. Misleadingly, un donn e physique was translated into English as a psychic factor. This argument can best be presented by means of a standard-form categorical syllogism: 1. All pictures have a material content. 2. Mental image is a picture. 3. Therefore mental images have a material content. Thanks to the syllogism, one can see more clearly where the logical necessity that mental images have material content lies. Insofar as mental images belong to the general class of intuitive analogical representations of absent objects, they must be material, even though their materiality is never given directly. The question of what makes up this transcendent psychic content is studied by Sartre in the section of the no longer certain but merely probable part of Limaginaire (Part Two: The Probable the nature of the analogue in the mental image). Sartres argument is that affects and kinaestheses provide content of imaginary acts. Both affective and kinaesthetic acts are argued to possess a representational potential and to intend (affective and kinaesthetic) analogues, which serve as a building block for the consciousness of an image. Sartre implies that there is an intention of an analogical material discernible in motility and emotions, just as there is a consciousness of a (physical and mental) analogical material discernible in imagination; these rudimentary (affective and kinaesthetic) proto-pictures are said to provide content for imaginary representations or mental pictures properly so-called. A similar point has been made by Kripke (1982, p. 24) about unicorns: I think that even if archaeologists or geologists were to discover tomorrow some fossils conclusively showing the existence of animals in the past satisfying everything we know about unicorns from the myth of the unicorn, that would not show that there were unicorns. Pour quune conscience puisse imaginer il faut quelle e chappe au monde par sa nature m eme, il faut quelle puisse tirer delle-m eme une position de recul par rapport au monde. En un mot, il faut quelle soit libre (Sartre 1983, p. 353; 1986, p. 213). Everything that happens in a dream is something I believe. I do no more than believe it: that is, the objects are not themselves present to my intuition (Sartre 1983, p. 315; 1986, p. 191.) Non seulement ils [les scrupuleux] nont plus lappr ehension de la r ealit e v eritable, mais ils narrivent pas non plus a ` lillusion de la r ealit e. Ce fait suft a ` prouver . . . que le trouble ne consiste pas dans une action insufsante de la r ealit e sur le sujet, mais dans une insufsance des op erations mentales qui conduisent soit a ` la perception de la r ealit e, soit a ` lillusion de cette perception (Janet 1919, p. 448).








13. Les hyst eriques ont perdu laction consciente et personnelle, les psychasth eniques nont perdu que laction volontaire et libre. (Janet 1999, p. 698). 14. This argument is developed in Sartre (1972). For an overview, see Stawarska (2002). It would be worthwhile to trace Janets inuence on Sartres postulate of non-egological consciousness as well, especially as Sartre directly refers to Janet to support his theory of the monstrous freedom of consciousness in this text. 15. L obs ed e . . . est tout pr et a ` d eclarer son obsession ridicule; mais tout cela nemp eche pas quil sen pr eoccup e, quil y pense sans cesse. Il y croit donc dune certaine mani` ere mais il ny croit pas compl` etement. (Janet 1999, p. 652). 16. Consider also this passage from Les Nevroses (Janet 1999, p. 774): Qui ne croirait, a ` premi` ere vue, quun raisonnement syllogistique demande plus de travail c er ebral que la perception dun arbre ou dune eur avec le sentiment de leur r ealit e et cependant, je crois que ce point de sens commun se trompe. Lop eration la plus difcile, celle qui dispara t le plus vite et le plus souvent, dans toutes les d epressions, est . . . lappr ehension de la r ealit e sous toutes ses formes. Elle contient laction qui nous permet dagir sur les objets ext erieurs, laction surtout difcile, quand elle est sociale, quand elle doit sexercer, non seulement sur le milieu physique, mais encore sur le milieu social dans lequel nous sommes plong es. . .

Bernet, R., Kern, I. and Marbach, E. 1993. An Introduction to Husserlian Phenomenology. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. Claesen, L. 1996. Presentication et fantaisie. ALTER 4: 130135. Duffrenne, M. 1987. The Imaginary. In: M. S. Roberts and D. Gallagher (eds.), In the Presence of the Sensuous: Essays in Aesthetics. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, Inc. Husserl, E. 1980. Phantasie, Bildbewusstsein, Erinnerung. Husserliana XXIII. Den Haag: M. Nijhoff. Husserl, E. 1982. Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a 884 Phenomenological Philosophy. First Book. F. Kersten (trans.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Janet, P. 1903. Les Obsessions et la psychasth enie II. Paris: Librairie F elix Alcan. Janet, P. 1919. Les Obsessions et la psychasth enie I. Paris: Librairie F elix Alcan. Janet, P. 1999. Les Nevroses. Bulletin de psychologie 52(6): 444. Kripke, S. 1982. Naming and Necessity. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Ricoeur, P. 1981. Sartre and Ryle on the imagination. In: P. A. Schilpp (ed). The Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, The Library of Living Philosophers, Vol. XVI, La Salle, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company. Sartre, J. P. 1972. Imagination. F. Williams (trans.). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Sartre, J. P. 1972. The Transcendence of the Ego. F. Williams and R. Kirkpatrick (trans.). New York: Octagon Books. Sartre, J. P. 1986. Limaginaire. Paris: Gallimard. Sartre, J. P. 1983. The Psychology of the Imagination. London: Methuen & Co Ltd. Stawarska, B. 2001. Pictorial representation or subjective scenario? Sartre on imagination. Sartre Studies International 7(2): 87111. Stawarska, B. 2002. Memory and subjectivity: Sartre in dialogue with Husserl. Sartre Studies International 8(2): 94111.