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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-M064-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2021
Retrieved June 13, 2024, from

Article Summary

Article Summary

Creativity and, specifically, creativity in the fine arts, has been investigated since the time of Plato (c. 429–347 bc). Investigation has focused on two sorts of question. The first questions concern the concept of creativity. Not all acts of making count as creative acts and the concept of creativity is in need of analysis and clarification. Creativity has been analysed in terms of concepts such as originality, imagination, and excellence (or value). Philosophers have asked whether individuals can know, in advance of a creative act, what they are creating. Some have held that creative individuals cannot know in advance what they will produce and that this distinguishes them from ordinary makers, who follow an established plan or practice. Others have disagreed. The second sort of question is concerned with the characteristics of the creative individual. Historically, discussions of creativity have been linked to discussions of genius: a genius is held to be an individual capable of significant creativity. The Platonic view that creative individuals, or geniuses, are supernaturally inspired has gradually given way to naturalistic explanations of the fact that some individuals are more creative than others. More and more, the question of what makes individuals creative has become a matter for empirical psychological investigation.

Citing this article:
Young, James O.. Creativity, 2021, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-M064-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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