What do you think Einstein meant when he said imagination is more important than knowledge?
“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.” - Albert Einstein
I think he mean't when saying knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, he mean't exactly that. We can only perceive the world we live in via our receptors and senses, what we see isn't really what something is for example when you look at a desk surface, to the human eye and brain it's seen as flat and smooth, but under a microscope lens you can see it for what it really is (non smooth, rocky etc). We also judge everything that is told to us via our background and culture, if you tell the same paragraph of information to 20 people in various countries and cultures each one will listen differently and form a different mindset towards whatever content was shared with them even if each word was exactly the same. Also knowledge is constantly changing at ever increasing rates, so we can never be 100% sure if something is really going to stay the way that we think it is now. The imagination is something that is individualistic and isn't open to varying interpretations if you choose not to share your thoughts/imagination. Knowledge and facts can be changed if it is incorrect or manipulated to be incorrect regardless if it is correct. The imagination is never wrong because it is something that we all hold close to ourselves, there are no right or wrong answers just our perceptions of our environment manifesting itself into a various states.
He may not have mean't that, but that's my thoughts on it.
Excellent thoughts! I am glad you answered. You have presented it in an orderly and well-rounded way. If you and I were chatting over a café table, I'd suggestion we look further with a more powerful scope into the microcosm and explore. Imagination.
Good question, E.P., as always!
I'm not sure what Einstein MEANT by that, because I would not presume to know his mind beyond what he wrote.*
However, I think an obvious corollary is that imagination is unrestricted and can grow and change in different directions, independently of external inputs. Whereas, in contrast, knowledge is a fixed, theoretically “quantifiable” set of facts, impressions, and conclusions learned or collected by a person over their lifetime.
If the above is true, then knowledge and imagination are inherently and inseparably related in that knowledge is essentially a set of interconnected and interrelated building blocks that the imagination can assemble, reassemble, add to, or destroy at its whim, whether other people would agree or disagree with the resulting conclusions/knowledge that the person came up with. Knowledge cannot grow without the presence of imagination because you have to imagine whatever facts and conclusions your body’s senses (sight, hearing, touch…) are feeding you and, thereby, “interpret”/imagine them into knowledge.
Offhand, I would say that imagination and knowledge, together, define intelligence. Everything else I can think of is a subset of one or the other of these concepts—or is unrelated to “intelligence”. For example, “skill” is unrelated to “intelligence” because a person may be an accomplished pianist, for example, and yet not be considered “intelligent” even at the dinner table. Skill is an important but separate concept, in my mind.
*Note that I have no hero-worship of Einstein, a person who was very intelligent among many very intelligent people that have graced this Earth over the course of recorded history, but like all of us had numerous flaws and gaps in knowledge.
Can you expand on that any? If you like, what is the meaning of his saying, from your perspective?
Agree especially w/ the definition EmP so aptly added. Perhaps a "presently" would work. Knowledge is limited to all we PRESENTLY know and understand. Knowledge changes with new information; imagination encomposses possibilities of the unknown.
I think it means....Imagination is the realm in which we connect to the quantum world--the spirit world--the unseen. There is a place of intersection where we tap into something other that what is "imaginary" when we learn how to access the creative power that lies within the imagination.
Very interesting & insightful. This is where I go with imagination, to the quantum world, the world of Spirit. Since the experience is fresh this weekend, I relate to 'creative power' as I wrote a video hub on working with energy - not yet publis
Knowledge embodies what is... imagination embraces what can be. Only when we focus on what could be possible will we advance
Imagination drives a person to evolve something new which will become knowledge to be acquired. Now I am imagining how to earn at least 5000 dollars while working on the web and when I achieve the feat I will distribute the knowledge by writing a hub "How to make your imagination come true".
Albert Einstein was not man to abandon science and mathematics, so even this well known quote of the man must somehow be tied back to his scientific roots. Quantum theory says that every limitation presents a new possible solution. Since these possibilities are not measurable until discovered and proven, they are in the realm of imagination. In this sense, Einstein was claiming that imagination carries science forward past its own self made limitations, past the limits of current knowledge.
I am with you on this, Chris. Beautifully expressed. It is what I feel in 'experimental writing', when I dare to risk feeling a fool by writing what I feel (making it clear that it is 'felt knowing') when there is not yet scientific proof.
I think, they want to tell the the infinite power of imagination and the similarities of the Universe 'n' imagination...
as universe has no end and Imagination is also infinite...
Might they want to tell us about the flexibility of Imagination or the flexibility of Universe, as in their special relativity theory...
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