"...the Imagination (or love, or sympathy, or any other sentiment) induces knowledge, and knowledge of an 'object' which is proper to it..."
Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was a scholar, philosopher and theologian. He was a champion of the transformative power of the Imagination and of the transcendent reality of the individual in a world threatened by totalitarianisms of all kinds. One of the 20th century’s most prolific scholars of Islamic mysticism, Corbin was Professor of Islam & Islamic Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Teheran. He was a major figure at the Eranos Conferences in Switzerland. He introduced the concept of the mundus imaginalis into contemporary thought. His work has provided a foundation for archetypal psychology as developed by James Hillman and influenced countless poets and artists worldwide. But Corbin’s central project was to provide a framework for understanding the unity of the religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. His great work Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi is a classic initiatory text of visionary spirituality that transcends the tragic divisions among the three great monotheisms. Corbin’s life was devoted to the struggle to free the religious imagination from fundamentalisms of every kind. His work marks a watershed in our understanding of the religions of the West and makes a profound contribution to the study of the place of the imagination in human life.
Serres, Michel, and Bruno Latour. Conversations on Science, Culture, and Time. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995.
_____, Josué V. Harari, and David F. Bell. Hermes--Literature, Science, Philosophy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.
_____, The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies (I). London: Continuum, 2009.
Some years ago I read some of Serres, back when I was doing theoretical biology and teaching a course on Literature & Science, and I thought I might pursue some of these threads but somehow Henry Corbin would not let me go. As my work on Corbin now winds down I might follow up on Serres, and Bachelard as well. Serres lives in a world radically different from the one Corbin inhabits but I think there are fruitful conflicts, frictions, parallels and even certain "harmonies" that would be useful to ponder.