The Intermediate World: A Key Concept in Beautiful Thinking

Dorthe Jørgensen 1
  • 1 Aarhus University,, Aarhus, Denmark


The term ‘the intermediate world’ is a key concept in Den skønne tænkning (Beautiful Thinking) and the metaphysics of experience presented by this book. The metaphysics of experience is about the experiences of transcendence and beautiful thinking that take place in the intermediate world. In the article “The Intermediate World,” this subject is introduced through a discussion of thoughts and concepts formulated by Paul Klee (Zwischenwelt), Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (beautiful thinking), Aristotle (phantasia), Immanuel Kant (expanded thinking), Mark C. Taylor (imagination), and Eugenio Trías (the limit). The text depicts the intermediate world as the level of experience at which the understanding does not yet distinguish between subject and object. The intermediate world is thus not a realm between human and world, nor is it something outside the world we know. The intermediate world is rather the present world in its most original state: the ‘place’ where we find the source of all experience and cognition, a source called ‘basic experience’ characterized by sensation, faith, and comprehension. In this realm, imagination is active and takes the form of an objective force rather than a subjective mental power. Imagination opens mind and world, thus allowing not-yetactualized possibilities to become perceivable.

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