1st Edition

Systemic Creative Cognition Bruno Latour for Creativity Researchers

By Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau Copyright 2023
    138 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    138 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This unique book explores how the conceptual framework of science and technology studies can be applied to creativity and problem-solving research, drawing from and building on the work of Bruno Latour.

    Using an interdisciplinary approach, the book outlines new research practices to capture the origin of ideas. Latour enjoins researchers to adopt a resolutely ethnographic methodology to trace the process by which a creative product, be it a technological innovation or a work of art, is constructed, or instaured. Creativity is explained in terms of the microprocesses that guide and constrain the development of a new idea. These microprocesses operate on and are triggered by material objects, be they maquettes, models, drafts or data representations. The resulting perspective is systemic, casting creativity as emerging from the interaction among heterogenous elements and actants. The book provides critical reflections on problem-solving research and stresses the importance of William James’s radical empiricism and the primary role of experience. The book redefines the concept of insight as an outcome rather than the cause of a new idea.

    The book uses the work of Latour to cast a new light on the field of creative cognition and will be an essential read for researchers and students of creativity and cognition. It will also be relevant for anyone interested in understanding the origin of creativity, ideas and thoughts.


    1. Le Redoutable: Retracing Creativity and Innovation
    2. Confluence
    3. Ideation Ground Zero
    4. The World of the Mind
    5. Insight Out
    6. System of Creation

    Afterword: Pragmatism and Pure Experience



    Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau is Professor of Psychology at Kingston University, UK. His primary research interest is problem-solving from a distributed cognition perspective. He is also the co-editor of the Routledge International Handbook of Creative Cognition.