Imagination is the ability to see things other than as they are—the capacity to transcend the actual and to construct the possible—and the impossible. It is a habit of mind that is marked by the joint conditions of the actual and the possible, the usual and the novel, the cognitive and the emotional, the logical and the extra-logical. It is a source of creativity and invention, which is a quality that is often highly desired. This entry describes constraints, problem solving, originality and creativity, invention, and cognition and emotion as they relate to imagination.


To understand the imagination one needs to experience the imagination. Thus, this entry begins with a thought experiment. Ask a reader to imagine, for an instant, an animal that lives on a ...

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