It’s easy to see Sherlock Holmes as a hard, cold reasoning machine: the epitome of calculating logic. And it’s true. In many ways, the ideal Holmes is almost a precursor to the computer, taking in countless data points as a matter of course, analyzing them with startling precision, and spitting out a solution. But Holmes has one element that a computer lacks, and it is that very element that both makes him what he is and undercuts the image of the detective as nothing more than logician par excellence: imagination.
Imagination and intuition–in combination, of course, with good old logic–form the cornerstone of Holmes’s successes in cases where others fail. These qualities help him see beyond the obvious and teach him where and how to look.