Imaginative knowledge

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. — Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

Better don’t make this known. Just don’t!

[Quote provided by frequent reader and commenter BB -- thanks a lot! Note that apparently there are at least two versions of Einstein's quote, see Did you know? Of course not ;]

3 Responses to “Imaginative knowledge”

  1. rattus says:

    As I am trying to find an original source for Einstein’s quote here is what I have found so far (I love multitudes:)

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. I never came upon my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.
    — Albert Einstein, quoted by Perez VT: The Last Voyage of the Cosmic Muffin. BookSurge Publishing 2006. Page 111.

    Just great! I never expected Einstein to be so much of no liar :) granted it was true ;)

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.
    — Albert Einstein: Cosmic Religion with other Opinions and Aphorisms. New York: Covici Friede 1931. Page 97.

    The same version is more precisely quoted in Calaprice A (ed.): The Expanded Quotable Einstein (Princeton University Press 2000):

    Originally in “What Life Means to Einstein,” Saturday Evening Post, October 26, 1929; reprinted in “On Science,” in Cosmic Religion, 97.

    But there is more. For instance a version collected by Donal Gudehus:

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.

    The Wikiquote page adds to this version a/the preceding sentence:

    I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.

    Strangely enough Wikiquote points out that there is a “variant” and it quotes the version provided in my posting.

    Personally, I agree with Michael S. Hart suggesting that “one reason Einstein’s quotes may be so hard to look up and get a perfect agreement on is that he probably did not say a lot of them in English”.
    I have looked for references of a German version but couldn’t find any. The German Wikiquote page says that the/one original version is English point to the English Wikiquote page, of course.

    Finally, here is another version:

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there will ever be to know and understand.
    — Albert Einstein, quoted in Quast L: “Imagination is more …”

  2. VT Perez says:

    And you were reading my book The Last Voyage of the Cosmic Muffin because…?

  3. rattus says:

    Because why is a FNAQ?