Imagination and experience

After the initial basis of a rational life, with a civilized language, has been laid, all productive thought has proceeded either by the poetic insight of artists, or by the imaginative elaboration of schemes of thought capable of utilization as logical premises. In some measure or other, progress is always a transcendence of what is obvious.

— Whitehead (1929, 9)

‘Productive thought’ then is bound to be imaginative. But it is an imaginative response to (or reading of) actual experience – not imaginary experience – that is most productive, in science, art and religion.
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