I'm thinking of giving a talk to our local philosophy club. The topic will be creativity and imagination. The subtopics will be as follows. What is your definition of creativity? Is creativity inborn or learned, or a mixture of the two? If it's at least partly learned, can it be taught or enhanced? What part does visualization (or imagination) play in creativity? Can visualization be taught?
Historically there are three sources of creativity that we might consider. For the Greeks creativity was a mystical process that required the intervention of a supernatural Muse. David Hume and John Locke thought that creativity was nothing more than the ability to rearrange previous ideas or perceptions. Others see creativity as the fortunate application of pure chance.
I taught what might be called "psuedo creativity" for a few years. If we use the Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary definition for creativity, it would be the ability to transcend traditional rules, ideas, patterns, etc. in order to generate meaningful new ideas. Pseudo creativity is the application of methods that will generate unnatural thinking paths that will generate new ideas. For example, most people have unconscious censors in their minds that will eliminate thought paths that are illegal, immoral or violate the laws of physics. This constraining of the the process at a very early stage leads to narrow thinking. If we consciously eliminate such constraints we may come up with ideas or problem solutions that are not physically or legally or morally realizable, but they may have distant cousins that are achievable.
I would appreciate your ideas on the subject. With respect-Joel