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The Scenic Imagination – Originary Thinking from Hobbes to the Present Day - Stanford Scholarship Online
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The Scenic Imagination: Originary Thinking from Hobbes to the Present Day

Eric Gans


This book argues that the uniquely human phenomenon of representation, as manifested in language, art, and ritual, is a scenic event focused on a central object designated by a sign. The originary hypothesis posits the necessity of conceiving the origin of the human as such an event. In traditional societies, the scenic imagination through which this scene of origin is conceived manifests itself in sacred creation narratives. Modern thought is defined by the independent use of the scenic imagination to create anthropological models of the origin of human institutions, beginning with the social ... More

Keywords: representation, language, art, ritual, sign, originary hypothesis, scenic imagination, religion, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780804757003
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804757003.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Eric Gans, author