Theory of Knowledge
Imagination is the ability to form a representation of something which is not present to the senses. The word Imagination can be used to encompass “both mental images and the entertaining of possibilities” (TOK definition).
Can we think about something that is not possible (that doesn’t exist) ?
According to the general definition, the answer to this question is “YES”. Our imaginations, our thoughts are descriptions of elements that exists in the real world, it represents real world objects. For example, I can think of tomorrow, and yet “tomorrow” actually does not exist, and inventions all started from imagination of things that do not exist. Personally, it is way more difficult to imagine a person without the ability to imagine impossible things. However, we have to be cautious at this point, because some believe that we can think about something that is not possible with creativity. Imagination and Creativity is two different terms. Imagination is innovating and developing on something that already exist. Creativity is largely based on inspiration an combination of different insights. It is very important to recognize that unique visionary looks on the world to imagine are being originated from an idea. Everything we imagine however unique links from something already known to our reality. To just imagine something out of the blue with no causation, correlation, discover or idea, is close to impossible.
To get back into my point, without a doubt, I strongly agree that we, humans can think about something that is not possible or something that does not exist.
However, upon closer examination, people cannot think about something that is not possible (that doesn’t exist). Some argues that people are just combining various objects that already exists in real world and think that they have imagined a non-existing thing. But, if we think deeper, most of the things that we thought just as a imaginary are actually combination of broken pieces of the things or objects that already exist in real world. The best illumination of this is, (for example) spider man, a human combined with unique features of spider. A unicorn, a horse with some kind of horn. Main point is that, when we try to think about all kinds of fictional characters, we end up with a mixture of things that already “exist” in our real world. The fictional character may not exist existentially, but they still do exist in the existence. If you have any doubts, please try it, you will soon recognize it is not possible to imagine things that does not exist in the existence.
In conclusion, I can firmly state that people can think about something that does not exist, unless when there are people without any ideas, causations, discoveries and correlations.
IMAGINATION CREATES REALITY – Richard Wagner