Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Fantasy has its origin in the greek language and during the midage it often was equate with the word 'imaginato'.(1) Especially in german it was most often equate to chimera, figment and delusion. It was a possible breach for the devil. With the beginning of the 18th Century due to german poetic the word fantasy stood more for imaginativeness. Its meaning became positive. In the course of the Enlightenment the awareness for rational and irrational strengths rose and as such got appreciated.

When thinking of fantasy, we think of the ability to imagine things. But it's way more if you look into detail. It's the skill of taking different and unusual views and standpoints, to mix things together that don't share any meanings in the first run, and the ability to take a trivial moment or situation and transform it in something beautiful. No matter if this is done through words, pictures or sounds. On a very low basis you could say fantasy inheres thoughts. In 'De Anima' Aristoteles already wrote that there can't be any thinking without imagination.(4) Fantasy is crucial and essential for thinking in general. To be able to 'look' in the future is, in the strict sense, fantasy. And this ability is normal. We just don't consider it as fantasy. It's necessary in everyday life to plan the day, the next weeks, or a holiday trip. Most of the scientific discoveries, wouldn't exist without the fantasy of man. No knowledge about gravity if Newton would not have had the absurd thought of associating a falling apple with the movement of the moon.

Fantasy is also a kind of defiantness. The will to not accept the finite as the ultimately. A way of imagine several possibilities without limiting these to what's possible.

1 – Ränsch-Trill, Barbara (1996):Phantasie: Welterkenntnis und Welterschaffung; zur philosophischen Theorie der Einbildungskraft. S.25, Bonn, Bouvier Verlag

2 – ebd. S.21

3 – ebd. S. 22

4 – ebd. S. 34