Creativity and Philosophy  book cover
1st Edition

Creativity and Philosophy

ISBN 9781138827684
Published March 6, 2018 by Routledge
406 Pages

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Book Description

Creativity matters. We want people to be more creative and admire those who are. Yet creativity is deeply puzzling. Just what is it to be creative? Why is it valuable? Who or what can be creative and how?

Creativity and Philosophy is an outstanding collection of specially commissioned chapters by leading philosophers who explore these problems and many more. It provides a comprehensive and creative picture of creativity, including the following themes:

  • creativity as a virtue, imagination, epistemic virtue, moral virtue and personal vice;
  • creativity with and without value, the definition of creativity, creative failures and suffering;
  • creativity in nature, divine creativity and human agency;
  • naturalistic explanations of creativity and the extended mind;
  • creativity in philosophy, mathematics and logic, and the role of heuristics;
  • creativity in art, morality and politics;
  • individual and group creativity.

A major feature of the collection is that it explores creativity not only from the perspective of art and aesthetics, but also from a variety of philosophical disciplines, including epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophical psychology, philosophy of science, political philosophy and ethics.

The volume is essential reading for anyone fascinated by creativity, whether their interests lie in philosophy, music, art and visual studies, literature, psychology, neuroscience, management or education, or they are simply intent on learning more about this vital human trait.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Philosophising about Creativity Berys Gaut and Matthew Kieran

Part 1: Creativity as a Virtue

1. Creativity, Value and Intellectual Virtue Robert Audi

2. Intellectual Creativity Jason Baehr

3. Creativity and Knowledge Katherine Hawley

4. Creativity, Vanity and Narcissism Matthew Kieran

Part 2: Creativity and Value

5. Creativity Without Value Alison Hills and Alexander Bird

6. Explicating 'Creativity' Paisley Livingston

7. The Value of Creativity Berys Gaut

8. The Active and Passive Life of Creativity: An Essay in a Platonic Key Charles Taliaferro and Meredith Varie

9. Artistic Creativity and Suffering Jennifer Hawkins

Part 3: Creativity and Agency

10. Creativity and Biology Margaret Boden

11. Attributing Creativity Elliot Paul and Dustin Stokes

Part 4: Explaining Creativity

12. Explaining Creativity Maria Kronfeldner

13. Talking about More than Heads: The Embodied, Embedded and Extended Creative Mind Michael Wheeler

14. The Social Conditions for Sustainable Technological Innovation Stephen Davies

Part 5: Creativity in Philosophy and Mathematics

15. Conceptual Creativity in Philosophy and Logic Michael Beaney

16. Creating Heuristics for Philosophical Creativity Alan Hájek

17. The Art of Doing Mathematics Christian Wenzel

Part 6: Creativity in Art, Morality and Politics

18. Creativity as an Artistic Merit James Grant

19. Moral Imaginativeness, Moral Creativity and Possible Futures Tim Mulgan

20. Political Creativity: A Skeptical View Matthew Noah Smith.


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Berys Gaut is Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, UK.

Matthew Kieran is Professor of Philosophy and the Arts at the University of Leeds, UK.


'This is a fascinating volume by an exceptionally distinguished group of philosophers. Taken as a whole it makes fresh and exciting connections between topics in philosophy that are rarely brought into contact, and shows how rewarding a wide-ranging exploration of a single concept can be.'
John Hyman, University of Oxford, UK

'Gaut and Kieran have assembled an impressively eclectic volume that examines creativity in many domains. Philosophy of Art is well represented but it is not the sole, nor even primary, focus. The collection makes a potent argument that the tendency to associate creativity with the arts hampers our understanding of related phenomena in other areas of human action, and in challenging our received understanding of the topic, the chapters in Creativity and Philosophy will be cited and discussed for many years to come.'
Theodore Gracyk, co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music