Social Imaginaries

Volume 5, Issue 2, Autumn 2019

Kristupas Sabolius
Pages 37-57

Traversing Life and Thought
Gilbert Simondon’s Theory of Cyclic Imagination

Simondon’s poorly examined theory of imagination reveals a number of interesting possibilities. On the one hand, by grounding the function of images within the idea of a cycle, it provides an attempt of reconciliation between the assumptions that privilege either reproduction or creativity. On the other hand, his view might also be conceived as a serious alternative to various theoretical stances that characterize the problem of imagination strictly within a dichotomy between individual subject and social imaginaries. The paper proposes a reading of Simondon’s lectures given between 1965 and 1966 in Sorbonne in the broader context of his philosophy and outlines the role of imagination that exceeds imagining subject as well as establishing the mode of correlation with associated milieu, which performs the conditioning of its potentiality. Rejecting the primacy of representation, Simondon’s take enables one to draw the conclusion that imagination can be attributed to all living beings and conceived as the function of life.