May 15, 2012
Is Imagination More Important Than Knowledge?
The French philosopher Simone Weil wrote, “Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life.” The more you think about this quote, the more you realize it is rather accurate. We are surrounded by the creative imaginations of millions of people. They intrude into our everyday lives, from the books we read, to the television we watch, to the design of the last building you saw. These manifestations of imagination have become a part of not just our lives, but of our culture. This begs the question, how much of our lives and what we know of our lives depends on this capacity to imagine? According to Albert Einstein, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” I however, disagree with Mr. Einstein. There is an intrinsic relationship between imagination and knowledge, both relying upon the other’s existence to develop new ideas. Once imagination and knowledge have been defined, their interrelation can be more easily understood. Without imagination, humans would lack the ability to derive new ideas, but without prior knowledge, they would not know how to go about putting the new ideas into action. Every idea that imagination excogitates is based upon knowledge of another idea. The Romans, for example, borrowed the idea for their aqueducts from other ancient civilizations and improved upon it. The dependency between knowledge and imagination in determining new ideas is so complex, that neither can be deemed of greater importance than the other.
To better comprehend the complex relationship between imagination and knowledge, one must first understand what they entail individually. The Oxford Dictionary defines imagination as “the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not...
Bibliography: Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved 04 28, 2012, from Oxford Dictionaries: http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/imagination?q=imagination
Gladwell, M. (2011, November 14). The Tweaker: The Real Genius of Steve Jobs. The New Yorker , 32-35.
Unknown. (n.d.). Aqueducts. Retrieved 04 28, 2012, from Aqueducts and Irrigation: http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/mvigeant/univ270_05/jake_aq/aqueducts.htm
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