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Projection, imagination, and novelty

towards a theory of creative action based on Schutz

Hubert Knoblauch

pp. 31-49

Alfred Schutz himself did not develop an explicit theory of creative action. However, he quite explicitly addresses the future aspects of action in his theory crucial to any notion of creativity. Therefore the question will be raised how useful these aspects are to a theory of creative action. I will argue that a theory of creativity can build on an inconsistency in Schutz. For although Schutz acknowledges the role of fantasy and imagination as activities of consciousness, he dismisses the role of imagination in action in favour of a more rational concept. In doing so, he cuts off an important part of his theory and gets into contradictions: On the one hand, imagination and fantasy form part of action, on the other hand, they are cut off from action in a distinct "province of meaning." I want to solve this problem by suggesting to include imagination into action and projection and creativity, in order to, then, show which aspects of imagination contribute to creative action. In the conclusion I shall address the societal dimensions which provide the social background for the transformation in the concept of action analysed theoretically. It will be argued the increasing importance of creativity and imagination is due to general changes in contemporary society. In this context, creativity is not any longer limited to the arts but extends into the fields of science, technology, and economy. From this point of view, the theory of creative action has to be considered as a part of a theory of action that is open to societal changes, including the transgression of art and creativity.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-01390-9_4

Full citation:

Knoblauch, H. (2014)., Projection, imagination, and novelty: towards a theory of creative action based on Schutz, in M. Barber & J. Dreher (eds.), The interrelation of phenomenology, social sciences and the arts, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 31-49.

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