PHILOMADRID

PhiloMadrid - Pub Philosophy Meetings in Madrid

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fwd: from Lawrence Pub Philosophy Meeting, 6PM, sunday: Creativity

--- In philomadridgroup@yahoogroups.co.uk, <philomadrid@...> wrote:

Dear friends,


Next Sunday we are going to talk about creativity. From the way the
meetings have been developing I am sure that next Sunday will prove as
creative as past meetings. It's like applying a dose of our own
medicine on ourselves.


Whilst talking with one of the members of the group it occurred to me
that it is about time we went to the mountains for some fresh air; and
of course there is always Segovia to be done. May I have your ideas
please.


Take care

Lawrence

SUNDAY 6.00pm START at Molly Malone's Pub, probably downstairs----
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Creativity


Once upon a time intelligent and clever men busied themselves with
alchemy. The intellectual challenge and the lure of a get rich quick
scheme motivated a lot of people. And although no one managed to
convert lead into gold, we are still fascinated by an intellectual
challenge or a get rich quick scheme.


Of course we now know why the alchemists were doomed to failure, but
the alchemists themselves knew that they had to be super duper
creative to succeed. So how can we understand creativity? This should
not be mixed up with, how can we be creative? Or what does it take to
be creative? Incidentally, if you do know the real answer to these
questions, let me know.


We usually ascribe to creativity the meaning of something being new or
original. And sometimes even something that is out of the ordinary. Of
course, there are other ways of being creative, but the new and the
original are the real healing makers. For example, the personal
computer was not really a feat of creation. Computers had existed for
a very long time before PC's were invented. And binary calculations
even longer. What makes the personal computer the important invention
it is in our life is the silicon chip. The silicon chip was indeed an
act of creativity.


How common is creativity then? By definition creativity, of the
headline making type, cannot be that common, otherwise it wouldn't
have the special status it has. On the other hand it is sufficiently
common for us to see progress, change and innovation. Change is,
indeed, the first philosophical issue we encounter with creativity.


Creativity does bring with it change. We change the way we do things,
the way we see things, the way we behave, what we know and so on.
Change is so fundamental to existence that we find the first
philosophers grappling with this very problem. And change, I would
submit, is the basis of science. Without chemical reactions we
wouldn't have chemistry, without the changing of mass or energy we
wouldn't have physics. In fact without change there wouldn't be a
universe in the first place.


The universe, as a subject, introduces its own issues regarding change
and creativity. What kind of creativity is required to bring about the
creation of the universe? The nature of God argument. Can something be
created from nothing? Ex nihilo argument. Are the laws of physics
universally true? The intellectual challenges introduced by quantum
mechanics.


Can we say that change is a synonym for creativity? No; not if we
assume creativity to be always positive and change maybe positive and
negative. Is creativity always positive? We are certainly more
impressed when creativity has positive implications, but there are
enough instances in life not to be the case. We can be creative to
invent new tools to solve problems or even be creative in matters of
aesthetics. But we can equally be creative to exploit people better or
just simply to kill and maim them quicker.


It is reasonable to assume that the universe is the biggest feat of
all creativity; whoever or whatever created the universe had something
going for them. This form of creativity brings about change as opposed
to affecting change. It's not som

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