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What's the difference between intelligence and imagination, and which is more useful in alleviating the human condition?

The difference between imagination and knowledge can be sharply defined. The difference between imagination and intelligence does not appear to be as easily delineated. One might say imagination is a subgroup of intelligence, but doesn't imagination often encompass the seemingly illogical? Or it might be said imagination is the catalyst for intellectual innovation, but isn't the imagined an interpolation of logical musing?

Albert Einstein said "Imagination is more important than knowledge." But what about intelligence and imagination?


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    Dec 31 2013: Imagination: the faculty or action of producing ideas, esp mental images of what is not present or has not been experienced

    Intelligence: the capacity for understanding; ability to perceive and comprehend meaning: 2. good mental capacity: a person of intelligence.

    Alleviating the Human Condition: Unknown. The condition has not been identified.

    If you accept the above definitions then explain what the human condition is that you mentioned .... It will be much easier to answer your question.

    Also in what context did Einstein make the quote. I would rather have a person with medical knowledge treating me than a person with a vivid imagination if I went to the hospital ....

    I don't think this is a one size fits all quote.

    Awaiting your reply. Bob.
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      Dec 31 2013: "I would rather have a person with medical knowledge treating me than a person with a vivid imagination if I went to the hospital ...."

      Agree with you there Robert, but surely that knowledge must have started out as the product of someone's vivid imagination?
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        Dec 31 2013: Perhaps. I would say curiosity was the bigger player. In the early days "medical" people paid a grave robber for subjects to open up and have a look inside. It was not imagination but confirmation of what was expected.

        The Vitruvian Man, a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci , was not imagination but a result of notes from the architect Vituvius. Vitruvius described the human figure as being the principal source of proportion among the Classical orders of architecture. da Vinci using the Golden Ratio (or Phi) improved on the notes and penned the drawing. You will see this ratio used in all of his endeavors. Phi is roughly equivalent to 1. 618.

        I would hold that curiosity is the greater driver. It is the scientific model in the simplest form ... what is the cause and how can I benefit from the effect. ... prove it.

        At issue here is the clarification of "the human condition". If we are discussing Walter Mitty then the answer would be imagination ... for most other issues the answer would be intelligence.

        It all depends on Gord G responding.

        Thanks for the reply. Bob.
    • Jan 1 2014: Hi Bob... as you may have imagined, the holiday season has taken a toll on my TEDding (fake word).

      I wasn't aware you were awaiting a response from me. The conversation developed a momentum beyond my input so I had stopped checking in for awhile.

      The "human condition" is a euphemism for the endless ways we suffer. The question addresses our inexhaustible desire to find a balance so we might find happiness. It encompasses the trivial (a hole in your sock) to the global (harmony with the environment) to the metaphysical (is there a God). These endless questions require all of our faculties to pursue. I was curious how that might be accomplished.
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        Jan 1 2014: What you have described is , to me, a habitual worrywart. Neither intelligence, knowledge, or imagination, can alleviate the human condition you have described.

        Hence the Serenity Prayer's plea for "the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference."

        Gord, thanks for the reply ... as my Aussy friend says ... no worries. Bob.
        • Jan 1 2014: Bob, it isn't worrisome taking an interest in the world and the people who share it. If you feel my question creates too much anxiety for you, perhaps you shouldn't participate in a forum that is specifically designed to ask such questions.
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        Jan 2 2014: Whoa Gord, where did that come from. I ask you for a definition and you gave it ... it covered all things from A to Z. I suggested that we cannot concern ourselves with all of the worries of the world and we should become more select as the Serenity Prayer advises us.

        I have no anxieties as you suggest ... but thanks for your concerns.
        • Jan 3 2014: I apologize Bob. You caught me on a grumpy day in a hurry. I misread your post. Take care.

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