Art, science, and the clear blue sky

Abstract
Abstract The concepts of consciousness and the unconscious have been problematic for cognitive science. This paper is an attempt to determine if artistic and, especially, scientific creativity, taken as a paradigm of cognitive activity, can be explained without recourse to the concept of the unconscious. It opens with a description of creative experience, guided by the works of Arthur Koestler and Abraham Pais and illustrated by anecdotes from the history of science. It then offers a summary and critique of the classical Freudian account of creativity. Next, adopting the perspective of connectionism or parallel distributed processing, the paper proceeds to examine the possibility of creative insight in neural networks. It closes with some observations on the brain/mind problem and with remarks on the necessity and usefulness of the unconscious as an explanatory construct
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