Volume 4, 1999
Philosophies of Religion, Art, and Creativity
Creativity and Discovery
In what follows, I want to discuss two particular—though broad—topics that have been raised by recent advances in cognitive science and science studies. First, the role of creativity in scientists’ self-understanding has changed dramatically through centuries and, with help from our friends in cognitive science, it is now possible to go beyond the so-called scientific imagination. I shall also suggest that creativity requires persistence over a long period. In our times of immediate gratification, this is an increasingly difficult mental disposition to promote. Secondly, although discovery and creativity are seemingly drifting apart, it turns out that discoveries have a historical depth which creativity lacks. That is, discoveries are characteristically products of often long historical processes.