Theory of Knowledge

Last updated June 2020.

Resources in the library

Sparks of genius : the thirteen thinking tools of the world's most creative people

Exercise your imagination and set off sparks of genius. In this mind-expanding book, Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein describe the "thinking tools" of extraordinary people, from Albert Einstein and Jane Goodall to Amadeus Mozart and Virginia Woolf, and show how you can practice the same imaginative skills to be your most inventive, at any time in your life. - British Library

In the mind's eye : creative visual thinkers, gifted dyslexics, and the rise of visual technologies

This work presents a uniquely compelling argument for the great importance of visual thinking and visual technologies as well as the high creative potential of many individuals with dyslexia or other learning difficulties

The Agile Mind

This book demystifies the preconceptions we often have about how our brains function to show how creativity really works, and how we can make it work even better. We used to think that creativity diminished through the lifespan, but we now know this is not the case. The brain can regenerate and continue learning until the last days of our lives. 

Videos on Imagination

Key concepts - Imagination

Key concepts

Imagination is defined in a sense as the capacity to form a mental representation of something without the stimulus of sense experience.

Imagination as means of metaphysical apprehension - Plato attributed to imagination the metaphysical role of allowing human beings to bring to mind eternal forms beyond the world of the senses.

Treatments of imagination are grounded in culture and traditions of thought, and prompt rich and complex questions on how imagination actually works.

In daily life, imagination has a particularly prominent role in entertainment for example, fictional films or television programmes.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge called imagination "essentially vital" and claimed that it "dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to re-create" 

The free range of imagination in the arts also has its confines of various kinds - sometimes in content, sometimes in medium, sometimes in form. 

Imagination can take us into grim dystopias of the future or apocalyptic finales but also give us visions of hope to inspire us.

Scientist Peter Medawar points out that "Scientific theories begin as imaginative constructions"

Imagination has the power, to give us hope, create alternatives, find solutions, and bring into reality the world that in the present is only in our dreams. 

Imagination contributes to our discovery and invention, our images of the world dissolved and recreated, and our potent visions of possible futures. 

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Questions for reflection - Imagination

?? What is the role of imagination in producing knowledge about a real world? 

?? Can imagination reveal truths that reality hides?

?? Can imagination give ourselves knowledge of ourselves and the world?

?? In what contexts is the subjective power of the imagination something to celebrate?

?? What is the role of imagination in the development of empathy for others? 

?? Why might working well with other people demand a degree of imagination ?

Weblinks on imagination