Weaver birds create intricate nests; sculptors and other artists and artisans also create intricate, ingenious constructions out of similar materials. The products may look similar, and outwardly the creative processes that create those processes may look similar, but there are surely large and important differences between them. What are they, and how important are they?Â The weaverbird nestmaking is â€˜instinctual,â€™ and â€˜controlled by the genesâ€™ some would say, but we know that this is a crude approximation of a more interesting truth, involving an intricate interplay between genetic variation, long-term developmental and environmental interaction and short-term environmental variationâ€“in opportunities and materials accessible at the time of nest building.Â And on the side of the human creator, a similarly complex story must be told. Genes play some role surely (think of the likelihood of heritable differences in musical aptitude, for instance), but so do both long-term and short-term environmental interactions. The myth of the artist â€œblessedâ€ by a spark ofÂ â€˜divine geniusâ€™ is even cruder and more distorted than the myth of the birdnest as a simple product of a geneâ€“as if it were a protein. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Our thinking about human creativity is pulled out of shape somewhat by a famous contrast introduced to the world by Darwin. One of his earliestâ€“and most outragedâ€“critics summed it up vividly:Â Â Â In the theory with which we have to deal, Absolute Ignorance is the artificer; so that we may enunciate as the fundamental principle of the whole system, that, IN ORDER TO MAKE A PERFECT AND BEAUTIFUL MACHINE, IT IS NOT REQUISITE TO KNOW HOW TO MAKE IT. This proposition will be found, on careful examination, to express, in condensed form, the essential purport of the Theory, and to express in a few words all Mr. Darwin's meaning; who, by a strange inversion of reasoning, seems to think Absolute Ignorance fully qualified to take the place of Absolute Wisdom in all the achievements of creative skill..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
The Origins of Creativity.Peter Carruthers & Elizabeth Picciuto - forthcoming - In E. Paul & S. Kaufman (eds.), The Philosophy of Creativity. Oxford University Press.
Creative Product and Creative Process in Science and Art.L. Briskman - 1981 - In Denis Dutton & Michael Krausz (eds.), Inquiry. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 83 – 106.
Darwinian 'Blind' Hypothesis Formation Revisited.Maria Kronfeldner - 2010 - Synthese 175 (2):193--218.
What is Good Forestry?: An Ethical Examination of Forest Policy and Practice in New Brunswick.Hugh Williams - 1996 - Environmental Ethics 18 (4):391-410.
Creative Product and Creative Process in Science and Art.Larry Briskman - 1980 - Inquiry 23 (1):83 – 106.
Special Topic: Confucian and Christian Conceptions of Creativity.Gordon D. Kaufman - 2007 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 6 (2):105-113.
An Experiential Account of Creativity.Bence Nanay - 2014 - In Elliot Paul & Scott Barry Kaufman (eds.), The Philosophy of Creativity. Oxford University Press.
A General Account of Selection: Biology, Immunology, and Behavior.David L. Hull, Rodney E. Langman & Sigrid S. Glenn - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):511-528.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads72 ( #71,935 of 2,158,435 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #354,697 of 2,158,435 )
How can I increase my downloads?