Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 I - Imagination


Imagination: The ability to fantasize.

It is the foundation of all creative thinking. The term suggests that what one fantasizes are somehow pictures - images - in one's mind, but it is unwise to restrict the meaning of the term to this, for at least two reasons: First, people seem to differ widely in the ability to work with visual imagery, whether fantastic or remembered, although this has little correlation with their general intelligence, nor with their ability to fantasize, say in words or tones or tastes or feelings. Second, because there is an abstract component in many fantasies, that cannot be easily or at all rendered in a visual form.

Note one fallacy here: That something is in the imagination does not mean it exists outside the imagination. That one can think of 5 impossible things before breakfast means one can imagine these things somehow, not that they exist outside the imagination. It is the same for the things that are possible: Merely imagining them doesn't make them real.



See also: Consciousness, Memory


Bartlett, Bronowski, Engell, Gombrich, Gregory, James, Polya, Shakespeare, Wallas

 Original: Aug 20, 2004                                                Last edited: 24 January 2012.   Top