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Imagining the Truth:

Can fantasy reveal reality?

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  • The Debate

    Imagining the Truth

    We believe reason is our best tool for acquiring true knowledge of the world. But Picasso said "art is a lie that tells the truth," and many others before him have made similar claims. Are they right? Can imagination lead us to truths hidden from the rational mind, or is this romantic hogswash?

    The Panel

    Director of Timecode and Leaving Las Vegas Mike Figgis, bestselling Thursday Next author Jasper Fforde and Yellow Blue Tibia novelist Adam Roberts go in search of the truth.

  • Find out more about speakers

Jump to what you want to see in the debate
  • Mike Figgis
    The Pitch
    Imagination reveals deep truths about our psyche
  • Jasper Fforde
    The Pitch
    Imagination is an undervalued tool for solutions to material problems
  • Adam Roberts
    The Pitch
    Logic alone impedes creative leaps toward the truth
  • The Debate
    Theme One
    What is imaginary?
  • The Debate
    Theme Two
    Imagination and the real
  • The Debate
    Theme Three
    Science fiction
Want to learn more about our speakers?
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Studio5 on 16/10/2014 6:10pm

Surely humour, art, what's entertaining, are all down to individual choices - it's a mistake to try and deconstruct the arts as these guys did. "Everything in all Art is imagination?" Art creation is far to broad and mysterious to pigeon hole it into popular culture examples to prove an opinion.

axelaos on 09/08/2014 2:59pm

Figgis was asking whether someone not trained and tested as a politician could do a better job, maybe even someone who was used to impro, comedy, quick-response thinking, etc. And no, it's not the mayor of London but the (now former) mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr. If we had more people like him in office we might be tempted to trust our imagination more

Hannah Carter on 29/07/2014 1:21pm

By replacing the 'real world' with fantastical elements, we are allowed to go deeply into the most important issues. By reading fantastical literature, you don't try to divine what's real and what's not, you take in the fantasy and look past it into deeper truths.

Catherine Moore on 15/07/2014 4:30pm

The question of finding science-fiction a distraction when we are burdened by deep and urgent real issues rooted in our present reality was lost... And didn't get the debate it deserves. Pity. I feel that successful fiction is a way of coming to terms with the limits of material, emotional and spiritual reality. It elps us reconnect with our own reality but with a degree of wonder and hope. Good fiction and art are an echo from another smarter and more meaningful reality, a created world that allows room for the possible hope which is hidden in the best of human creativity. Starting with cave paintings....

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