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International Baccalaureate Theory Of Knowledge

Imagination goes beyond knowledge. I firmly agree with Einstein’s quote “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 ever will be to know and understand”. When Einstein was in a bad mood because he got quite low scores in most subjects he studied because he was more interested in the natural process of surroundings such as curiosity about sunlight coming through the window than in studying school stuff. However, his relative encouraged by saying that “imagining is much more valuable than obtaining knowledge and you are more clever than your classmates who only know knowledge that teacher teaches.”

Finally, he became a world number one theoretical physics and invented a lot of ideas that are very useful to us still today such as the theory of relativity and the photoelectric effect. Knowledge is obtained through experience that is continuously occurring and a number of attempts to overcome certain incidents. Knowledge can be obtained by individuals, but also obtained with the help of others. Imagination, which is the opposite of the knowledge obtaining process, is different from individuals and can only be imagined by individuals. In my opinion, imagination motivates continuous experience and a number of attempts to overcome the incident, which means it motivates knowledge. And this process repeats to obtain other knowledge. Whereas imagination is considered as developed thinking which goes beyond the fact that is recognized and exists in the world through an individual’s ideal thinking, there is a limitation in process of obtaining the knowledge.

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As is mentioned previously there are two processes of obtaining knowledge, an active acquisition and a passive acquisition. An active acquisition means learning something without any helps from anything but alone. When an unfamiliar event that is unforeseen happens to someone, he might be bemused and he may learn abilities to overcome similar events that would happen in future. Even if not acquired, he would be accustomed to ways to overcome the events unconsciously if the events happen repeatedly. Suppose a businessman is starting a new business. Most of the time, businessmen who start their business without any experience and knowledge have a high probability of failure.

Although some of those give up and collapse early in that stage because of shock, some analyze and reinforce the reasons and weaknesses of the business failure and they attain knowledge, ways and strategies to cope with another failure in order to succeed in future business. My father is a businessman who experienced a number of failures and accomplishments as well, but he learned about business through passive acquisition that he graduated from Business College and now he, fortunately, lives a successful life. On the contrary to this concept, passive acquisition means learning something through training the abilities and strategies of overcoming certain incidents repeatedly by using some sort of methods to get accustomed to before an unforeseen event occurs. Following the example of a businessman previously used to describe the active acquisition.

Businessmen who have learned and studied in Business College or from some professional business texts are much more likely to succeed in business than the businessmen who neither studied nor have professional knowledge about the business because they basically have more knowledge. If there is an exception that newbie businessman success, it is certainly because of luck or support from other business. So, eventually, the acquiring of knowledge is limited. It is impossible to acquire knowledge unless some kind of unforeseen event occurs or repeatedly occurs or some factors help to acquire knowledge.

Unlike knowledge, imagination doesn’t have any limitations. Imagination accounts for any thinking even though they are unrealistic, but, moreover, things created as a result of the ceaseless study and desperate effort made from imagination are so much value that they cannot be compared with such things as knowledge created from the active and passive acquisition. We are living in a World full of imagination. The devices or things we use very constantly and readily are mostly invented and upgraded by certain people’s imagination, people such as Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Wright brothers and etc. Smartphones as an example, they are the upgraded versions of mobile phones that previously released to public such as folder phone, slide phone, and bar phone.

The first smartphone ‘Simon’ is designed by IBM Company in 1992 and is exhibited in the COMDEX (Computer Dealers’ Exhibition) expo held in Las Vegas as a concept product. It is then shown to the public in the following year 1993. There must be imagination in the background process of designing and making the smartphone ‘Simon’. Maybe the image of smartphones existed far back to the decades since people started to use mobile phones, but it was impossible to make because of the lack of information about the phones. However, it is finally invented and applied to the public’s daily life. The inventor of the smartphone must be started to design and produce smartphones by imagining about the phone which is loaded with conventional systems such as internet access, entertainments, calculators, memo, and etc.

Since the birthday of smartphones, we are living a smart life by using faster, useful, and readily smartphones. There are various types of mobile phones before smartphones invented, slides, folders, and the first mobile phone, the bar phone. Slide and folder phones, which are released after the bar phone is released, are invented in order to make more convenient mobile phone considering the strengths and weaknesses of an original mobile phone, bar phone. But these wireless mobile phones are also invented by imagining phones without wires which heavy, big, and the non-portable telephone has got. Not only phone development but also can or the refrigerator is invented for long-conservation of food purposes. We are basically living in the world pleasing such convenience we enjoy made by somebody’s imaginations.

So, the conclusion can be drawn that Imagination is more important than knowledge. Imagination is free whereas knowledge is quite limited. Before obtaining new knowledge, there is imagination carrying on to get that knowledge from an original knowledge and the original knowledge also from imagination. It is imagination that makes able individuals draw their dreams clearly by eliminating fear, anxiety and uncertainty about the things that will be done in the future. On the contrary, if planning something in future only supporting from the acquired knowledge, individuals may give up early or some even cannot challenge because they would be restricted inside of fears and uncertainties caused from considering every single factor that may affect the plan. In the perspective of this, I believe imagination is similar to braveness.

Individuals who plan and challenge in order to achieve their dreams they imagined should be considered, treated, and respected as truly brave people. Furthermore, because of the achievements those brave men accomplished, today, we are enjoying a more convenient life and because some individuals are still out there imagining better things, we would live a much developed and convenient life in future. Therefore, we should explore our limited ideas and knowledge through imagination in order to find out some brilliant ideas and broaden our knowledge that would bring us benefits.


  • (2007) What Did Albert Einstein Invent?. [online] Available at [Accessed: 28 Aug 2012].
  • (1992) The first smartphone | The Information Technology Log. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 29 Aug 2012].
  • (1879) Albert Einstein | Biography. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 29 Aug 2012].

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