[Milton-L] renaissance faculties psychology and literature

Butler, Todd Wayne butlert at wsu.edu
Wed Sep 2 01:04:08 EDT 2009

This might be a bit of an aside from the original query, so I won't belabor the point, but I'd contend (and have contended) that Bacon held the imagination in much more esteem. In De Augmentis, Sylva Sylvarum and elsewhere he's simultaneously fascinated by and suspicious of the imagination, granting to it a substantial power over the thought processes of human beings. In an oft-quoted passage from book 5 of De Augmentis, for example, Bacon writes: "Neither is the imagination simply and only a messenger; but it is either invested with or usurps no small authority in itself, besides the simple duty of the message" (4:406).

See my "Bacon and the Politics of the Prudential Imagination," SEL 46.1.


-----Original Message-----
[snip] Interestingly Bacon inverts the order 
of the faculties and places Imagination at the bottom of this hierarchy, 
much like Plato but not Aristotle.
You probably are familiar with all that and with William B. Hunter, "Eve's 
Demoniac Dream," ELH, 13 (1946), 255-65.
Best Regards,
Salwa Khoddam

Todd Butler
Associate Professor and Buchanan Scholar
Vice Chair, Department of English
Washington State University
Pullman, WA  99164-5020
(509) 335-2639
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