Systems of Communication: Information, Explanation, and Imagination Chapter uri icon

Book Title

  • Multidisciplinary Studies in Knowledge and Systems Science


  • Three fundamental systems of communication are defined: information, explanation, and imagination. Information is based on analytic distinctions between objects in the world. Explanatory communication provides knowledge through discourse, narration, logic, rhetoric and other forms of systemic elaboration. Intellectual discovery relies on a third system of communication, that of imagination. Rather than distinction or elaboration, imagination is rooted in intuition and analogy. The most powerful medium of the imagination is antonymous insight. The article discusses examples of the latter from warfare, politics, and science.

publication date

  • 2013