Sherlock Holmes and Imagination

“Lestrade doesn’t understand just how wrong he is—and just how central a role imagination plays, not just to the successful inspector or detective but to any person who would hold himself as a successful thinker. If he were to listen to Holmes for more than clues as to a suspect’s identity or a case’s line of inquiry, he would find that he might have less need of turning to him in the future. For, if imagination does not enter into the picture—and do so before any deduction takes place—all of those observations, all of that understanding of the prior chapters will have little value indeed. Imagination is the essential next step of the thought process. It uses the building blocks of all of the observations that you’ve collected to create the material that can then serve as a solid base for future deduction, be it as to the events of that fateful Norwood evening when Jonas Oldacre met his death or the solution to a pesky problem that has been gnawing at you at home or at work. ”

Excerpt From: Maria Konnikova. “Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes.”