Imagination is more important than knowledge

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sprintdominator
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Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by sprintdominator »

Einstein once said "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. " Hmmm... its easy to accept such a claim in the area of natural sciences. How about in the area of history?
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The Voice of Time
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by The Voice of Time »

It fills the gaps. Ancient history and archaeology is, I dare say, largely based on imagination colouring evidence. All history contains evidence and accounts, and imagination and its derivatives is the ultimate factors to put x and y together and get a more exciting and useful "z". Evidence and accounts are usually very limited, but using them to narrow things down increases the chances for things to "have taken place" in "that sort-of way" by "those kind-of people".

You can ask a historian and they could say that "oh, we are !very! certain that's how it happened!", but at the bottom, their certainty is clouded in huge amounts of assumptions and abstract thinking.
sprintdominator
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by sprintdominator »

Hmm agreed but can historical accounts and evidence be considered knowledge in the fear place? Any takers haha
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The Voice of Time
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by The Voice of Time »

Yes, it is knowledge. But I go with Einstein, because knowing from some scripture that "10 000 men rode westwards this morning on the third day after the death of x-pharao" is just pointless knowledge if you don't add imagination. That statement changes nothing, because basically it could be any army/pack of people who went anywhere. You need more imagination to couple a little knowledge than you need knowledge to couple imagination. That is, you can make a lot of "produced knowledge" from a little "raw knowledge" with large quanta of imagination. Whereas large quanta of knowledge with little imagination leaves us tons of useless facts. You have to assume, you have to put yourself in the imaginative person's shoes to understand just how things correlate between historical accounts and material evidence.

In history people rarely want "data", they want a "story", and they want it to be real, but it can't be real, you can just make it presumably *real*, give it as much life as you can. Finding an ancient Viking sword in America does not tell anything else than that for some reason there had arrived an ancient Viking sword to America. *How* it happened is the job of imagination, the evidence does not give any special reason to believe that Vikings once settled America besides guessing and illustrating possibilities for undertaking (in this example of course there are accounts of a Voyage by vikings that went westwards of Greenland, but you got my point I hope, and the accounts also needs imagination to put x and y together to get interesting z).
JasonPalmer
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by JasonPalmer »

both are important
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LuvPimpinYou
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by LuvPimpinYou »

imagination leads to the quest for knowledge, therefor it is essential.
commonsense
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by commonsense »

sprintdominator wrote: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:06 pm Einstein once said "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. " Hmmm... its easy to accept such a claim in the area of natural sciences. How about in the area of history?
Forget about natural science and history. What about imagination v knowledge in the general case?

Imagination may/may not lead us to new knowledge. However, whatever we take from knowledge is tried and true. It is known that gravity works and that humans can fly only with the assistance of supportive flying devices. Imagining that a human can fly unassisted might eventually lead to a way to do it, or it might lead to broken bones and brain injuries. Knowledge is reliable. Imagination is a wild card.
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PrfromTexas
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by PrfromTexas »

I'd rather say imagination and knowledge are inter-dependable. History is based on the events, which are in their turn stories told by people from different points of view (in Linguistics and Literature, there's a perfect solution for this explanation - focalization, for example, the same story told by protagonist and antagonist each one considering himself/herself a hero). But when we know something, does it mean that we'd better imagine that particular something? Quite a tricky question. And a long discussion following imagination vs knowledge topic.
Walker
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by Walker »

Do you ever wonder about the old inspiration/perspiration dichotomy?
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by Walker »

PrfromTexas wrote: Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:23 pm I'd rather say imagination and knowledge are inter-dependable. History is based on the events, which are in their turn stories told by people from different points of view (in Linguistics and Literature, there's a perfect solution for this explanation - focalization, for example, the same story told by protagonist and antagonist each one considering himself/herself a hero). But when we know something, does it mean that we'd better imagine that particular something? Quite a tricky question. And a long discussion following imagination vs knowledge topic.
You cannot imagine nothingness.

Therefore, you can only know life.

You cannot know death.

Of death, you can only know of.


Do you agree?
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PrfromTexas
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by PrfromTexas »

Walker wrote: Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:31 am
You cannot imagine nothingness.

Therefore, you can only know life.

You cannot know death.

Of death, you can only know of.


Do you agree?
I agree that there's no knowledge of death, however, there's a concept of death which is produced both by our knowledge and by imagination and the circumstances that influence our understanding of death (our perception of death when we see it, when others die, when we talk about it). Everyone imagines death and the process of dying differently. And that's where relative understanding of things and phenomena is determined by knowledge and imagination.
Nick_A
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by Nick_A »

sprintdominator wrote: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:06 pm Einstein once said "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. " Hmmm... its easy to accept such a claim in the area of natural sciences. How about in the area of history?
Imagination is term used to describe escapism and fantasy but as Einstein used it, it refers to conscious contemplation and intuition.
1930
"Many people think that the progress of the human race is based on experiences of an empirical, critical nature, but I say that true knowledge is to be had only through a philosophy of deduction. For it is intuition that improves the world, not just following the trodden path of thought. Intuition makes us look at unrelated facts and then think about them until they can all be brought under one law. To look for related facts means holding onto what one has instead of searching for new facts. Intuition is the father of new knowledge, while empiricism is nothing but an accumulation of old knowledge. Intuition, not intellect, is the ‘open sesame’ of yourself." -- Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 16.), conversation March 4, 1930
Intuition is the human potential to reconcile the contradictions of recorded history into a higher conscious human perspective.
commonsense
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by commonsense »

Walker wrote: Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:31 am
You cannot imagine nothingness.

Therefore, you can only know life.

You cannot know death.

Of death, you can only know of.

Do you agree?
Through my imagination, I can formulate a mental image of nothingness. For me it looks something like a black hole. So, I don't agree that I cannot imagine nothingness. However, anyone who accepts "You cannot imagine nothingness" as premise -- any such person must agree with the rest of your argument.

In addition to life, I can have unique knowledge of any thing or concept I can imagine, because I can, at least, have knowledge that I have imagined something. So, no, I do not agree that I can only know life. I do see, however, how your previous statement connects quite logically to the second one.

I agree that I cannot know (experience) death until I die, and that I can have knowledge of thoughts and things surrounding death. However, I can also formulate an image of what death looks like to me and have unique knowledge of that image. So, I disagree with your claim that I can only know OF death.

You have a solid argument, if and only if your premise can be accepted as a given. It falls to someone in the Forum (you and/or others) to prove that nothingness cannot be imagined. (Now, the discussion becomes epistemic.)

Let's start by agreeing upon a definition of nothingness. I'd put it that nothingness is akin to emptiness or a void. Nothingness is also used as a synonym for death. I propose that we use both meanings and denote which is being intended whenever some confusion may arise. I would use "nothingness (emptiness)" to signify the first meaning and "nothingness (death)" to signify the second.

Death might be something other than nothingness (emptiness), but I cannot know that unless I die and find that to be true.

The gauntlet is thrown, Walker and any other member(s). The ball is in your court. The pendulum is swung. The ocean is ebbing. The snake is slithering. The mouth is...
Walker
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by Walker »

Any nothingness that you imagine must include you imagining, which is something, not nothing.
Nick_A
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Re: Imagination is more important than knowledge

Post by Nick_A »

The void or our nothingness is not something we can imagine but if Simone Weil is right, the void is something we can consciously experience when imagination isn't dominant. She wrote:
"Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it We must continually suspend the work of the imagination in filling the void within ourselves."

"In no matter what circumstances, if the imagination is stopped from pouring itself out, we have a void (the poor in spirit). In no matter what circumstances... imagination can fill the void. This is why the average human beings can become prisoners, slaves, prostitutes, and pass thru no matter what suffering without being purified."
Have you ever tried to experience rather than imagine the void?
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