There's No Such Thing as Creativity: How Plato and 20th Century Psychology Have Misled Us

  • 1h 33m
  • John Baer
  • Cambridge University Press
  • 2022

Most people (including creativity researchers) act as if they believe that creativity is not simply a useful category or label but a real thing with its own essence (just as Plato would argue that an ideal triangle has an essence that is shared with all actual triangles). Most people (including creativity researchers) also believe that there is a set of general creativity-relevant skills that can be applied to most problems in ways that will lead to more creative outcomes. Creativity research now calls these beliefs into question. A domain-general misunderstanding of the nature of creativity-relevant skills and the equally mistaken belief that creativity exists independently of actual creative things and ideas have together hindered creativity theory, research, assessment, and training. A more domain-specific and nominalist understanding of creativity will free creativity researchers to make progress in areas where it is currently stymied.

In this Book

  • Introduction—Creativity Matters, so How We Think about It Matters
  • Philosophy—It All Goes Back to Plato
  • Psychology—What Should Psychology Study?
  • Conclusions—Creativity Research, Theory, Testing, and Training
  • References


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