The Knower and the Ways of Knowing
For thousands of years, knowledge, and the creation of new knowledge, has been essential to the growth and advancement of human society. Whether it was the introduction of democracy or a new, more improved version of technology, “justified true beliefs,” are, and have been a prominent factor in the development of civilization. But where does new knowledge come from? Historically, some of the greatest and most influential discoveries have originated from human imagination. This has been true since the early Greek philosophers such as Thales, Socrates, and Hippocrates, who all used their own unique insight to create knowledge claims which, after years of refinement and justification, became the basis for many accepted truths evident in our society today. So which is more important, knowledge or imagination? 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.” Is he correct? Does imagination actually have more to offer humanity than existing knowledge? If one were to look at how the work of an individual such as Thomas Edison or Orville Wright has helped mankind to advance over the years, he or she would most likely answer yes, and with just cause. These “brilliant men” are perfect examples of how an individual’s open-mindedness and unique insight can enhance the overall data base of society. The expression of a high level of creativity, however, is not the only factor which plays a part in the advancement of society. The innovative manipulation of existing knowledge is equally important. Although imagination may seem to spawn completely from one’s own thoughts, knowledge is actually essential to this thought process. Discoveries or inventions cannot arise in the vacuum of imagination without some degree of existing information which...
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