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Coleridge and the Uses of Division$
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Seamus Perry

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198183976

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183976.001.0001

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The Ethics of Imagining

The Ethics of Imagining

(p.155) 4 The Ethics of Imagining
Coleridge and the Uses of Division

Seamus Perry

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines English Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's thoughts about the division of selfhood and the ethics of imagining. It suggests that self-absorption and worldly-mindedness of materialism and idealism are two philosophical ways of expression Coleridgean division about selfhood. This Coleridgean idiolect is based on a series of related oppositions like sympathy and egotism, femininity and masculinity, and fluency and fixity. In one of his letters, Coleridge talked about having mixed feelings about two versions of the self, an equivocation between two fates or goals: the concentred self-subsistence and the diffused self-oblivion.

Keywords:   Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet, selfhood, imagining, self-subsistence, self-oblivion

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