HomeARETEvol. 5 no. 1 (2017)

Art as Prophetic Imagination: A Look at R.G. Collingwood’s The Principles of Art

Raymundo R. Pavo

Discipline: Philosophy



This paper sought to understand and explain a proposed notion that in Collingwood’s The Principles of Art, 1 art is prophetic imagination. To substantiate such claim, this research is divided into four parts as our way of understanding Collingwood’s art-theory: (a) an overview of PA, which presents the background on how Collingwood proceeds in articulating art’s definition, including his presuppositions on the requirements of a valid definition of art, (b) an analysis of Collingwood’s contention that the proper locus of art is in the realm of imagination, (c) an explanation of two possible contexts of art, namely, the individual and the community, and (d) a discussion on the proper goal of art specifically Collingwood’s notion of the individual goal of art as self-knowledge, and art’s community goal which is the preservation of the local and unique practices of a community. With these parts, the paper concludes that the fulfillment of both art goals forms the core meaning of Collingwood’s theory of art as prophetic imagination. Moreover, the expositions in this paper are primarily based on Collingwood’s PA.