The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms - Ross Murfin 2018
Imagination: A term that has meant different things at different times, imagination was associated in the Renaissance with poetry and was understood to be the opposite of reason. In the later, Neoclassical Period the term was used simply to refer to the mind’s power to call up images (especially visual images). Then, in the late eighteenth century, imagination once again came to be seen primarily in opposition to reason and as a source of aesthetic pleasure. English romantic theorists such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge gave imagination a much greater value, however, privileging it above fancy as the creative and unifying faculty of the mind that reveals higher truths through organic rather than mechanical processes.