The Ancient of Days

Romancing the Rational: Debating the Scientific Imagination

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Where do our ideas about the imagination come from? What role has imaginative exploration played in the history of science? And how have scientists guarded against the imagination’s radical creative chaos?

Modern ideas about the imagination were powerfully shaped during the Romantic Era in 19th century Europe. Romantic poets, scientists and philosophers conceived of the imagination as a primary force behind the production of knowledge of all kinds. They fiercely debated about the nature of the imagination, how it worked, and why its prodigious creative potential might endanger the rationality and precision of the scientific method.

Join ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination and Department of English for a conversation with Richard C. Sha, professor in the Department of Literature at American University and an expert on science, literature and emotion in the Romantic Era. Richard will be joined by Mark Lussier, professor and chair of the Department of English, and Ed Finn, director of the Center for Science and the Imagination and assistant professor in the Department of English and School of Arts, Media and Engineering. Light refreshments will be served at the event.

Co-sponsored with ASU’s Department of EnglishNeed help finding the Language and Literature (LL) building? Visit this page for photos and a map. 

Image: William Blake, “The Ancient of Days” (1794)

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