WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IMAGINATION (φαντασία),
IMAGINABLE (φανταστόν), FANCY (φανταστικόν), AND
CHRYSIPPUS affirms, these four are different one from
another. Imagination (he says) is that passion raised in
the soul which discovers itself and that which was the
efficient of it; for example, after the eye hath looked upon
a thing that is white, the sight of which produceth in the
mind a certain impression, this gives us reason to conclude
that the object of this impression is white, which affecteth
us. So is it with touching and smelling.
Phantasy or imagination is denominated from φῶς
denotes light; for as light discovers itself and all other
things which it illuminates, so this imagination discovers
itself and that which is the cause of it. The imaginable is
the efficient cause of imagination; as any thing that is
white, or any thing that is cold, or every thing that may
make an impression upon the imagination. Fancy is a
vain impulse upon the mind of man, proceeding from nothing which is really imaginable; this is experienced in those
that whirl about their idle hands and fight with shadows;
for to the imagination there is always some real imaginable thing presented, which is the efficient cause of it; but
to the fancy nothing. A phantom is that to which we are
led by such a fanciful and vain attraction; this is to be
seen in melancholy and distracted persons. Of this
sort was Orestes in the tragedy, pronouncing these words:
Mother, these maids with horror me affright;
Oh hurl them not, I pray, into my sight!
They're smeared with blood, and cruel, dragon-like,
Skipping about with deadly fury strike.
These rave as frantic persons, they see nothing, and yet
imagine they see. Thence Electra thus returns to him:
O wretched man, securely sleep in bed;
Nothing thou seest, thy fancy's vainly led.
After the same manner Theoclymenus in Homer.