How our imaginations work and why we have them remains a mystery befitting of their infinite nature. In this article from The Atlantic and The Wire, Oxford professor and British Academy fellow, Timothy Williamson, seeks to find some answers, and prove how the ability to think in the abstract will always be key to our survival.
The human imagination is one of those abstract neural phenomena that tend to puzzle scientists, like dreams or voting Green Party. For what purpose did we evolve our imaginations, which have come to guide so much of human culture? Oxford professor and British Academy fellow Timothy Williamson ventures an explanation in the New York Times philosophy blog, The Stone. Williamson, writing both with scientific rigor and joke-ridden whimsy, says the imagination may have been a crucial tool for survival by early humans and our ancestors.