Advancement in the arts and sciences is a primary driver of economic production and social policy in post-industrial societies. Imagination steps back and asks `what advances the arts and sciences?’ This book explores the collective, social and global dimension of human imagining—and the ambivalent relationship of social institutions, including universities, schools, economies, media and culture industries, to the collective imagination. Basic discovery requires high levels of creative thinking: Imagination looks at the social conditions that make path-breaking thought possible on a large scale. It examines the role of aesthetic, pictorial, digital, paradoxical and other imaginative styles of thinking, and the times and places in which such styles become socially prominent and a significant force in economic and cultural production. It looks at successful societies as they are approaching their peak, when new ideas are driving them forward.
“Imagine three intellectuals with a plank. Imagine them standing on the plank, looking under it, to see what is holding it up. Imagine them designing and building a new plank. It resembles a Hawaiian invention, and it might be a surfboard. Scramble on back, and hold tight, for this will be some ride. In an academic culture which is often hollow and repetitious, this book offers something that is really new. It does not merely argue, but shows imagination by example. It innovates both in content and form. This is a major achievement.” Professor Peter Beilharz, Professor of Sociology, La Trobe University
“This collection provides original and often counter-intuitive insights into central issues facing public institutions, particularly universities, in a globalizing and increasingly knowledge-based economy. It is almost head-spinning in its challenges to prevailing orthodoxies from across the intellectual spectrum, and the capacity to crash-merge ideas that have traditionally inhabited distinct realms to generate original knowledge syntheses.” Terry Flew, Professor of Media and Communication, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia