Ars Brevis

bullet1 9. Subjects

bullet2 5.The Imaginative

5. The Fifth Subject, or the Imaginative Faculty

In the imaginative, the principles and rules are specified toward imagining imaginable things, in the same way that in a magnet, they are specified toward attracting iron. And it is defined as follows: the imaginative is the power whose proper function is to imagine objects. And so the imaginative is sequentially combined with the principles and rules that belong to the imaginative. The intellect has great knowledge of the imaginative and of the things that belong to it; the imaginative draws species from objects sensed by particular senses, and it does this with its correlatives, signified by the second species of C. With goodness, it makes these species good, with greatness it magnifies them, as when imagining a mountain made of gold. And it diminishes them with minority, as when imagining one indivisible point. The imaginative has instinct, for instance, irrational animals have their ways of ensuring survival, and goats instinctively stay away from wolves. The imaginative has an appetite for imagining objects, so it can find repose in them by imagining them.

While the particular senses deal with sense objects, they impede the imaginative from exercising its act; for instance, while one is looking at a colored object with his eyes, the imaginative cannot act, given that it cannot imagine the external imaginable object until the viewer closes his eyes, for only then does imaginative begin to act, or is able to act.

Someone looking at a colored object attains it more by seeing it than by imagining it, given that a sense object is closer to the senses. But the imaginative perceives imaginable objects by means of the senses. In sentient beings, the imaginative is not as general a power as the power of the senses, as can be observed in the sense of touch, whereby someone holding a stone feels many diverse sensations, namely the weight of the stone, its coldness, roughness and hardness; but the imaginative cannot perceive all these things at once, it can only proceed in sequence. And likewise with other things like these. And this is enough, for the sake of brevity.