Is the imagination limited?

Well, Is it? Does the imagination have boundaries?

My theory is that the imagination is limited to the combinations of known concepts. The mind is able to combine things it already knows to form other things. For example, take the body of a horse and add some wings from a bird and a horn and you get a whole new concept that had it’s roots from something that was already known.

I apologize that this thread is not well thought out and articulated, but I thought maybe some sort of discussion might start up and I might learn a thing or two about the power of imagination from those who might have a different opinion than mine.

I wholeheartedly agree with this theory. Take lucid dreaming for example…Your mind is able to create whatever it wants but that is limited to what you know and have observed. The imagination is far more powerful than most of us realize. We should embrace that ability and increase its power. This is where I think the school system is flawed. Yes, hard sciences are very important to our civilization but I think we stress them too much. Schools should require more creative classes, ecspecially at a young age so that you get a feel for everything. Then as you mature and grow older, you can make an educated decision on what path you would like to take.

Kind of got sidetracked there but there’s another point I would like to address. Aliens…haha yeah it may sound a little off topic but here me out. There’s a theory, that I completley agree with, that something truly alien would not be able to be comprehended by the human mind. It would be so foreign to us, it would be unlike anything we’ve ever encountered. I think this says something about our imagination in that we can only imagine that which we know and have encountered at some point.

The imagination isn’t limited once you have learned to look at the possiabilities.

Most people try to imagine a solution,… when they try the solution they find a difference. Expectation vs results gives us the ability to triangulate a different solution.

Yet if I didn’t know to look there, then how could I look there.

i rather like humes take on it. he says something along the lines that one can only imagine what one has experianced. i can imagine a gold horse because i have seen both a horse and the color gold. If i haven’t seen a horse i can’t imagine a gold horse.

I have to agree w/ the OP, here.

While it is possible for the imagination to create new concepts, new ideas and innovations, the roots must be there.

Known concepts could be the lego blocks, and while you could build something out of them that no one’s ever seen before, you still have the same foundation.

Or you could decide to redesign the lego blocks, make them different colors, whatever - before building your structure. But you still had the starting point, the original concept, the prototype.

Someone who has spent their entire life in the desert probably wouldn’t, if left to their own devices, have daydreams about the Forest. You have to get the idea from somewhere.

I had a somewhat interesting experience in that growing up , my best friend had been blind since birth. While this didn’t hinder her in any way regarding academics, a love for science fiction, self sufficiency, etc. I still noticed that her perception of the world was very different from mine because of her disability. A focus on textures rather than colors, paying more attention to smells, temperatures, sounds - we often talked of things we imagined, worlds we’d make - and so often there were many things missing, things she had no concept of, like frames around a picture (why? cause it looks nicer) or the idea of a ‘matching’ outfit, things like this. Now lets say that this friend of mine were to imagine her own world - it would be very different from a world imagined by you, or me, or anyone who had this extra sense of sight, because we have a different experience. However, HER world would have richer flavors and smells than I would have thought to put into it. Because to me, there is very little difference of how it feels to pet one cat as opposed to another, and I can’t tell if the rain’s coming by smelling the air. These are ‘roots’ or ‘building blocks’ that I don’t have, so whatever I create can’t have them either.

i read that a BLIND PERSONS dreams are more oriented with motor functions and touch and smell sensations for obvious reasons. Also, the longer the person has been blind the less they dream of images. Also, if they are born blind , they don;t dream in images(kind of a proof of what hume said)

The power of imagination is what began knowledge. And it’s not just about thinking of the possibilities, it’s about thinking outside the possibilities and into the impossible. That’s where it begins. And not to mention, by impossible i mean improbable. Einstein also says that knowledge is limited, making imagination more important simply because there are more possibilities. By thinking up new ways to do things, crazy revolutionary new ways to do things, now that’s where imagination takes credit. It expands the limits of knowledge.