Phil/Psych 447

Seminar in Cognitive Science

Note: In class I erroneously said that the reading for this week was ch. 4, but we'll stick with the syllabus.

Week 3: Explanations of Creativity

Miscellaneous Issues

Why we shouldn't worry much about defining creativity

  1. Important scientific concepts often lack precise definitions, e.g. force, species.
  2. Exemplars of creativity: Einstein, Beethhoven, Picasso, etc.
  3. Prototypical features of creativity: new (novel, original, suprising) and important (useful, valuable, relevant, appropriate, adaptive).
  4. Explanatory uses of creativity: to be developed as part of a theory of creativity based on psychological, neural, and social mechanisms. Such a theory (along with the exemplars) would answer the question of whether creativity is intentional.

The person-group problem

How are neuropsychological mechanisms in individuals interconnected with social mechanisms of creativity?

Creativity in machines and non-human animals

Rare, but not impossible.

Creativity and innovation in business (Raynor: Innovator's Manifesto)

Business innovation = technological invention + social innovation?

Disruptive innovation: identify new market segment of little interest to dominant companies.

Questions about creative cognition (ch. 5)

  1. How are anecdotal and laboratory procedures complementary for investigating creativity?
  2. How does conceptual combination contribute to creativity?
  3. What is the nature of the concepts that get combined?
  4. How does analogy contribute?
  5. How does culture contribute?
  6. What other cognitive processes contribute to creativity?

Questions about personality (ch. 6)

  1. Is personality the "relatively enduring unique ways that individuals think, act, and feel"?
  2. Is Feist's model of the creative personality accurate?
  3. How much of creativity results from personality, rather than e.g. intelligence?
  4. Is creativity a brain process?
  5. Why are openness and confidence important for creativity?
  6. What motivational and emotional traits are most important for creativity?
  7. Are creative people likely to be psychotic? Manic-depressive?

Phil/Psych 447

Paul Thagard

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

This page updated Sept. 26, 2011