An “imagined order”, is an abstract concept that doesn’t physically exist but homo sapiens can believe/agree that it exists. “The ability to transmit information about things that do not really exist”(Harari Pg. 37) Examples of imagined orders would be a business, a religion, and a nation. Imagines orders are so important because without them “Most people can neither know, nor gossip effectively about, more than 150 human beings”(Harari Pg 27). But with them massive groups of individuals can work together in an organized manner without knowing everyone involved. This is because “large numbers of strangers can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths”(Harari Pg. 27) By believing in the myth of a company, for example a retail chain. A sales associate and accountant both believe that the company exists and that they work for the company, and both contribute to make it a monetary(another imagined order) profit. But despite all those afgreances they have never met and live thousands of miles away.

I would say imagined orders are prerequisites to science because as is illustrated in the Invention of Air, it’s that in order for science to work you need many different imagined orders which all contribute to science. Like politics, economics, and culture to name a few. Without imagined orders not enough humans can cooperate to advance scientific discovery. But I will say hypothetically science could be possible without imagined orders. If for example we put 150 of the greatest human minds in all of  history together, and they were immortal then science could flourish in my estimation.

Like the previous example shows, I don’t think science is an imagined order because unlike business and religion which are a set of agreed upon myths and rules. Science is based on evidence and testing. To invent a new technology like the telescope you still need the ability to abstractly think about a hypothetical possibility but it’s not imagined because you can build and test your theory, and it can happen regardless of what all of society agrees upon. Science is the opposite of an imagined order because instead of people agreeing upon myths and rules they come up with, observation and evidence prove to people what they should believe.


  1. I agree with you that science is not an imagined order. Scientists look to the physical world (and beyond our planet’s physical world) to explain why and how things work – such as gravity. Scientists test theories and hypotheses and they expand our knowledge of the known universe through their experiments and discoveries. In my response, I said that science is influenced by imagined orders but does not contain any. However, I really like, and completely agree, with your observation that imagined orders are a prerequisite to science. The imagined orders created within our societies most certainly shape and influence the thoughts and activities of scientists on a daily basis because of how engrained they are into our lives.


  2. I do generally agree with you that science does not base itself on imagined orders but science does still contain these imagined orders. These are the theories that have yet to be proved or disproved and have people that believe they are true. Take for example string theory this is a quantum theory that has yet to be proven and holds rules and law that might govern our universe. This is an imagined order because some scientists believe it to be true not based on facts and are trying to prove that it is true. imagined order’s are not science’s base but where scientists come up with new laws. This is because in science everything is an imagined order until proven true.


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