2016– Most Philosophical 6th Grader in America

Aryan Gala, Florida.

Imagination, Knowledge, or Both? Which one is the best?

     Many adults believe that knowledge is the best, while kids think that imagination is the best. However, they both missed that a good balance, some imagination and some knowledge, leads to the greatest human innovations. Imagination without knowledge seems unwieldy, leading to myths and false hope. But knowledge fares no better without imagination, as the famous psychologist Edward de Bono says, “Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”

     Knowledge and imagination are equally important; indeed, they both have unique benefits. Knowledge has many benefits. Alan Moore once said “ Knowledge, like air, is vital to life.” We can say that knowledge breeds knowledge. Great zoologist must learn both about animal behavior and anatomy in books as well as through experience in the field before they can make discoveries of their own. Great ideas open doors to further breakthroughs. A great example of this power of knowledge is Louis Pastuer. He invented pasteurization in germ theory but not without his incredible knowledge of microbes, and their life cycles.

     No matter how important knowledge is, imagination plays an equally important role in human achievements. To be creative, you have to be imaginative. Generally, we think art and writing when we think imagination and creativity. It is true that great works require imagination. Artists like Vincent van Gogh and Picasso use imagination to see our everyday world in vastly different ways. The creative imagination can mean the real difference between an extraordinary discovery and a dull finding in science too. Imagination helps us come up with wonderful and meaningful ideas that fill our lives with joy. Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of TV, had a wonderful imagination that led to a novel idea, one that told him to build a device that processes invisible waves and converts them into moving pictures on a screen.

     Socrates has once said “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” Great words, right? Yet I would change his statement to include imagination. We would live in a much less interesting world if all we had was knowledge of facts and figures. Steve Jobs is an example of this perfect pairing of imagination and knowledge. Jobs had the imagination and the imagination to think of a device called the Mac, and he used his knowledge of computing to build a device that functioned. The Mac still sits on store shelves and school desks today due to this amazing combination.

     All in all, if we want a more productive and interesting world then having a healthy balance of imagination and knowledge is required. Having both can have a positive effect on yourself and the society around you. Schools have also adopted this idea, and that is why they are educating kids, based on that idea. This quality of having both can lead to innovation and discovery. In conclusion, our civilization should have a good balance of both knowledge and imagination. After all, as Heinrich Von Schlegel has once said “Every art should become science and every science should become art.


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