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HomePower of Spirit and Imagination in 17th Century

Power of Spirit and Imagination in 17th Century

Puissance de l'esprit et imagination au XVIIe siècle

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Published on Monday, October 18, 2010


In this workshop, scholars from different disciplines will work together to study the early modern imagination. In particular, we are interested in the relation between general conceptions of the imagination at the time and more specific and controversial ideas of a creative, active and forceful imagination. This powerful imagination was dependent on ‘spirit’ in its different meanings in the early modern period (human spirit, demons, animal and other spirits, spirit of nature, etc.), resulting in a rich variety of opinions. These ideas of an active imagination and of powerful spirits, in their full complexity and diversity, were transmitted between philosophy, literature, medicine, the sciences, witchcraft, demonology as well as religion, and the workshop aims at unearthing the exchanges between these various fields.


The Maison Française d’Oxford (USR 3129, CNRS)

and the

Institut des Sciences de la Communication (ISC-CNRS), Projet PEPS

are pleased to announce

International Conference PEPS :

Tuesday 19 October,

Maison Française d’Oxford

9.30 Welcome and Tea/Coffee

10.00am- 10.15am: Martine Pécharman (MFO-CNRS) and Koen Vermeir (SPHERE-CNRS)

Introduction : “Power of Spirit and Imagination in the 17th Century”

Session 1: 10.15am-12.45pm

Chair : Ian Maclean (All Souls College, Oxford)

Frédérique Aït-Touati (St John’s College, Oxford)
“Voir, imaginer, savoir : du bon usage de l’imagination en philosophie naturelle”

Frédéric de Buzon (UMR 5037-CNRS)
“Du bon usage de l’imagination : physique et mathématique chez Descartes et Malebranche”

John O’Brien (Royal Holloway, University of London)
“Montaigne imaginaire”

Session 2: 2.00pm-3.30pm

Chair : Martine Pécharman (MFO-CNRS)

Thibaut Maus de Rolley (Oriel College, Oxford)
“Entre mauvais esprits et esprits animaux : les débats sur la force de l’imagination dans les traités démonologiques des 16ème et 17ème siècles”

Robin Briggs (All Souls College, Oxford)
“Witches, demons and the early modern imagination”

Session 3: 4.00pm-5.30pm

Chair : Koen Vermeir (SPHERE-CNRS)

Anna Corrias (Warburg Institute, University of London)
“Nebuchadnezzar among the oxen : the power of the imagination in Marsilio Ficino’s theory of the vehicles of the soul”

Angus Gowland (University College London)
“Theories of melancholic dreaming in the Renaissance”




  • 2-10 Norham Road,
    Oxford, Britain


  • Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Attached files


  • Soul, Spirit, Imagination, Daemonology, Melancholy, Witchcraft


  • Florence Yvrard-Coquaz
    courriel : reception [at] mfo [dot] ac [dot] uk

Information source

  • Florence Yvrard-Coquaz
    courriel : reception [at] mfo [dot] ac [dot] uk


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Power of Spirit and Imagination in 17th Century », Study days, Calenda, Published on Monday, October 18, 2010, https://doi.org/10.58079/h33

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