Saturday, September 04, 2010

On the importance of imagination

From Owen Barfield, Poetic Diction:
Science deals with the world which it perceives, but seeking more and more to penetrate the veil of naive perception, progresses only towards the goal of nothing because it still does not accept in practice (whatever it may admit theoretically) that the mind first creates what it perceives as objects, including the instruments which Science uses for that vey penetration.  It insists on dealing with 'data', but there shall no data be given, save the bare precept.  The rest is imagination.  Only by imagination therefore can the world be known.  And what is needed is, not only that larger and larger telescopes and more and more sensitive calipers should be constructed, but that the human mind should become increasingly aware of its own creative activity.