Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
Sense is the original teacher of man. How else were we able to obtain teaching from nature except without our eyes, ears, etc.. In reality senses are responses of our organs to “motions of external things” (Hobbes 49). What does this mean to man? To understand-which is man’s desire-he must have certain objects “move” against his senses. That motion from an external object has the same power to illicit an internal response from the man.
What is imagination? It is the projection of an image that was once in motion, but now has stopped. Motion can only be stopped when there is a force to oppose it (Newton’s law supports this); imagination is the mind trying to recreate that motion that may have been stopped in the external world. It is known as the “decay of sense” (Hobbes 50). Senses are the body’s way of deducing the nature of external objects, and imagination is a fragmented version of this understanding. Imagination is “weaker” than true sensibility, but where it excels is that it has been polymerized with our memories and ideas; becoming a new creation altogether. Compare it to the sun’s light versus the stars, the sun’s light is the senses and it is able to illuminate virtually everywhere. The stars have only limited light, but they provide us with more in the darkness. When we wake our senses rule-for our body is relying on physical receptors- but upon dreaming they are decayed and we are met with the projection of an external object within our internal realm. The imagination is stemmed from our senses, does that mean the more I sense, the greater my imagination? I must allow my senses to carry me far, for the more they are used, the better my imagination will become, if this hastily stated hypothesis were proven to be true. Imagination and memory are both considered decaying, but what separates the two from each other? I do not known, but memory is more specific to the individual and the experience surrounding a sense, whereas imagination is just general sensation. By utilizing specific senses, we can remember a moment; but when we combine the varying aspects of multiple senses, we can create a moment.