ETHOLOGY of CREATIVITY. Neil Greenberg University of Tennessee. WISDOM!. DETERMINISM, FREEDOM, CONTROL . . . What are the causes of behavior . . .? . . . grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can,
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University of Tennessee
DETERMINISM, FREEDOM, CONTROL . . . What are the causes of behavior . . .?
. . . grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference. (from Reinhold Neibuhr’s adaptation of a 14th c English prayer)
During evolution, success is recognized when one line is more successful than another in meeting its needs, culminating with self-actualization . . .
being all it can be, particularly with respect to its own or related progeny.
Socrates’ denied the utility of imagination . . . “Poetry, like all art, is not always rational and may even approach the point of insanity. BUT even for Socrates, the arts are not without insight or value, and it is for this reason that the artist’s madness must be laid at the feet of the gods.”Creativity defined . . .
Transcendence: to go beyond
. . .to bring into existence as in, “God created the heaven and the earth.” . . . Or the cause or occasion of a natural phenomenon,
A later definition deals with the sense most familiar to scholars: “to produce through imaginative skill,” or “to cause to happen; bring about; arrange, as by intention or designTraditional Definitions of Creativity
The qualities that contribute to creative behavior are evoked and facilitated by processes of
input, integration, and output
that are managed by
cognition, affect, and motivation
that are energized by STRESS . . .
Primary and Secondary Process Cognition
“ . . . primary process cognition of dreaming, reverie, psychosis and secondary process cognition involving the abstract, logical, reality-oriented thought of waking consciousness” (Fromm 1978)
creative individuals can more easily shift gears from primary process, unfocused attention (associated with low levels of cortical arousal), to more focused secondary process(higher levels of cortical arousal) for the expression or implementation of creative insights (Kris 1952).
Thomas Alva Edison
Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration.
Phenomenological theories involve “unconscious” processes that occur in discrete stages such as preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification (Poincaré; Arthur Koestler's "bisociation")
Behaviorist theories of creativity identify more mechanistic stages such as generalizing of old responses to familiar aspects of new situations and random responses to truly novel aspects of new situation (Watson)
Or are they constructs of our imagination?
"Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world. In our endeavour to understand reality we are somewhat like a man trying to understand the mechanism of a closed watch. He sees the face and the moving hands, even hears its ticking, but he has no way of opening the case." (The Evolution of Physics, by Albert Einstein & Leopold Infeld)DISCOVERY? or INVENTION?
SOCIETIES often manifest adaptive divisions of labor – specializations to most efficiently serve specific needs.
“ Artists are the antennae of the race. . .”(Ezra Pound, 1954)
"The best things cannot be told, the second best are misunderstood. After that comes civilized conversation; after that, mass indoctrination . . . .”(Jos Campbell, 1968)
"...nothing holds me –
I will indulge my sacred fury...”
(Kepler announcing the discovery of his Third Law)
Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know
A thing of beauty is a joy forever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness.
"It was as though I had looked for a truth outside myself, and finding it, had become for a moment a part of the truth I sought...” (CP Snow)
And if truth is immortal . . .