msb ~024 Imagination, the key ingredient

Imagination, the key ingredient

Glad Day, or the Dance of Albion William Blake, 1794

In today’s post on the Finding Blake website I manage, our latest contributing author Kevin Fischer discusses the balance between reason, experience and imagination. Fischer explains that William Blake, radical artist and thinker of the early industrial age, “saw imagination as something profoundly different from fantasy. Contrary to common conception, this imagination is not about make-believe, the creation of the fantastical, nor is it wish-fulfilment. Blake regarded it as an essential part of life, a means of breaking out of the ‘dull round’ of the ‘ratio’ of abstract reason, of the already known, and through to that which is other than and beyond ourselves. It is a means of putting us more in touch with the world, acting as a bridge between the experiencing individual and that which is experienced.”

This comes to the heart of why I established ClimateCultures. As I wrote at its launch: “Scientific, public policy, entrepreneurial, activist and ‘best practice’ approaches are all necessary, but none of them is enough. Even combined, without the key ingredient of imagination they can’t get full traction on the complexity and uncertainty and the human dimension.” Reason is a powerful and essential guide to reality, but not a complete one.

2 Replies to “msb ~024 Imagination, the key ingredient”

  1. Of course, responsibility, caring, concern, morality and compassion aren’t necessarily the province of reason. One can be highly rational and utterly lacking in all of these. On the other hand, reason, in conjunction with these vital human capacities, can help show what is and isn’t being done, what needs to be done, and how to do it

    1. Absolutely, Kevin! Balance in all things, and an ongoing reflection on what all these capacities reveal and make possible.

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