Creativity

In Explaining Imagination. Oxford: pp. 262-296 (2020)
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Abstract

Comparatively easy questions we might ask about creativity are distinguished from the hard question of explaining transformative creativity. Many have focused on the easy questions, offering no reason to think that the imagining relied upon in creative cognition cannot be reduced to more basic folk psychological states. The relevance of associative thought processes to songwriting is then explored as a means for understanding the nature of transformative creativity. Productive artificial neural networks—known as generative antagonistic networks (GANs)—are a recent example of how a system’s ability to generate novel products can both be finely tuned by prior experience and grounded in strategies that cannot be articulated by the system itself. Further, the kinds of processes exploited by GANs need not be seen as incorporating something akin to sui generis imaginative states. The chapter concludes with reflection on the added relevance of personal character to explanations of creativity. [This is Chapter 12 of the book Explaining Imagination.]

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Peter Langland-Hassan
University of Cincinnati