The research project “Thinking in Images. Herder’s Adrastea from 1801-03 up to today” will focus on the notion of thinking in images, which has a non-marginal position in the history of philosophy and science. Thinking in images means to refer, at the same time, to a complex system of forms and meanings, which continually changes itself and never follows a time sequence or a causal order. This is what distinguishes this special form of thinking from the logical sequence, from the reasoning by concepts. Analogies, metaphors, myths are only few examples of the way this ‘visual representation’ works. Such a kind of thinking characterises the children’s thought, mnemonic processes, dreams, mental illnesses, hallucinations; but also, it is possible to find it in the poetry, in mythologies and religions, in mystical visions, as well as in scientific visualisations and in the arts. We will try in this study to clarify the concept of thinking in images and to highlight its value within society and culture. The starting point of the research is one of the most significant authors in the history of philosophy and culture, J.G. HERDER (1744-1803). The researcher’s aim will be to make an Italian translation and a critical edition of the Adrastea (1801-1803), the last and most neglected of HERDER’s works. The researcher will show the importance of this work as regards the author’s position about this topic, thinking in images and will prepare a monography. HERDER edited this magazine the last years of his life and conceived it as a kind of fragmentary encyclopaedia, touching many aspects of the cultural life of his time (from politics to religion, from philosophy to science, from literature and music to esotericism and mystics). From this starting point, researcher will be able to start a multidisciplinary discussion on the topic through the organisation of seminars, workshop and international conferences with the involvement of scholars of different fields of research.
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