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In Most Professions And Academic Fields, Imagination Is More Important Than Knowledge - With A Free Essay Review

Prompt: “In most professions and academic fields, imagination is more important than knowledge. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.”

As the statement claims, the status of imagination is more significant than knowledge in most fields. Concerning the physical field, I agree that it is the imagination that serves as the major motivation for its further development and renovation. Whereas I take exception with the realm of art and literature which should be undergone an examination through historical perspective.

When it comes to the physical field, imagination is the source of renovation of principal theories. Since imagination could pose questions to previous theories and strange phenomena thus reducing the authoritative status of past achievements in contrast to knowledge, it would be more likely to bring about further discoveries which add, revise or deny former ideas, and therefore promote the progress in physics. In retrospect of history, De Broglie, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, had proposed an imaginative hypothesis of matter waves which subvert all the preceding beliefs in the property of substances. The hypothesis was later be demonstrated by other scientists hence changing the entire understanding of the invisible world. Through this examples, it is the imaginative hypothesis that deflects scientists from continuing their common road of researching on the basis of existing knowledge and thenceforth enlightening the real microcosm in our eyes. As it reveals, the imagination is the real foundation for the development of physics.

Nevertheless, the status of imagination for art is based on the specific historical period. Concerning Baroque art in ancient times, the artistic techniques are the core of their creation. Forfeiting the essential rules and artistic methods, no artists could create a painting or a sculpture reflecting the style of the Baroque. So artistic knowledge is more pivotal than imagination which have, even though, its effect on inspiration. Whereas the situation for recent centuries is different. Consider surrealism and pop art. The former hinges on the presentation of a deep psychological world without precise requirement hence could be created in an original and even peculiar ways. The latter show inclination to the reflection of unfettering from the shackle of tradition which is the definite objection to extant knowledge of art, let alone it using city waste as creating materials in some works. Accordingly, either surrealism and pop art is dependent on the imagination for the source of their works and smacks of the strong tendency of spurning past knowledge. So the judgment of imagination and knowledge for art depends on certain art period in history.

Not in a dissimilar way, literature deserve the same examination as art. In retrospect of the period popularizing neoclassicism, literature creation is extremely rigorous with style standardization and complete structure. Since knowledge of these writing methods is the crucial part of novels and poems in those years, a writer could hardly receive recognition lacking fundamental neoclassical writing knowledge. However, close observation of the contemporary period, the writing limitation nearly disappear that works filled with unstrained imagination, such as " One Hundred Years of Solitude"," Harry Potter", " Lord of the Rings", have stoke heavily to both literature experts and common people. Taking account of the prevailing trend of these imaginative novels, the imagination in literature outweighs the writing skills in modern society.

To sum up, to evaluate whether the imagination takes the dominant influence than knowledge in human progress rests with the specific fields. Admittedly, in physics, imagination prevails over knowledge concerning improving effect. Nonetheless, the exact period of history determines the standing of imagination and knowledge in art and literature. Consequently, both the fields and social circumstances influence the validness of this statement.



The basic argument about the physical sciences if, for me, counterintuitive, but you don’t need to worry too much about your reader being skeptical of your argument; what matters most is the structure of the argument. Your argument tends to rely on examples a little too much, however. And if the argument relies on examples, and the examples are themselves questionable, you don’t leave your reader much to go on. That means, I think, that you need also to develop your argument at a more abstract level. If the general argument is articulated clearly, then the example will serve a purely illustrative role, which I think is what you ought to aim for with your examples.

So how can you talk about the relative importance of imagination and knowledge without resorting to examples at all? Of course you will most likely need examples eventually, but I think you ought to think first of all about what, generally speaking, the imaginative faculty allows one to do, and what knowledge allows one to do. When you say “the imagination ... serves as the major motivation for ... further development [in physics],” for example, you are saying something that is general enough, but you also need to explain why you think that (again, independently of any example). Now you do that up to a point when you say “imagination could pose questions to previous theories ... in contrast to knowledge” but you don’t explain what it is, in your view, that allows the imagination to do this in a way that knowledge cannot. So the plausibility of your claim rests entirely on the example, and all the example does is assert that De Broglie’s “hypothesis” was “imaginative,” and so you expect, in effect, that your reader will just trust you on that. You need to give your reader a reason to believe you. Why is not true, for instance, that De Broglie just saw, or even happened upon, or guessed, a correlation between observed phenomena and some fairly complicated mathematics?

When you turn to art, you seem to be, on the one hand, on clearer ground, argumentatively, insofar as it’s relatively easy to make sense of a claim that some art depends on “techniques” (which you relate to artistic knowledge) and some on the imagination. On the other hand, all that really leaves you with is the claim that the relative importance depends on the “period in history,” which I think says little about which is more important in your view. You instead give an account of what was historically viewed as more important: the Baroque artists, let’s say, thought technique was more important, and the surrealists thought the imagination was more important. Fine. What do you think? It’s a presupposition of the prompt (a presupposition of virtually every GRE prompt) that there will be different perspectives. You’re being asked to defend a perspective. To do that, again, I think you need to argue at a more abstract level, using examples to illustrate, rather than carry, the argument.

I’m not going to try to tell you here what I think the general argument would be, but, in the form of a hint, here’s an anecdote that comes to mind from ages back: I was talking one day with a professor who thought of himself, I suppose, as a bit of a creative genius. I asked him what he thought of another scholar’s work. Evidently, he thought little enough of it, but he admitted that the scholar in question knew everything there was to know in his field. “Imagine,” he said, “what I could do with all that knowledge!”

Best, EJ.

P.S. There are several errors of grammar, usage, and syntax. These have a significant impact on the intelligibility of the argument and consequently, if unaddressed, would likely have a significant impact on the score your essay would receive in an examination. If you are committed to taking the GRE test before you can address such issues in a systematic way, then I would suggest that, for the examination, and in your preparations for it, you should keep to relatively simple (simple in terms of syntax and vocabulary) English.
Submitted by: baichen

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