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The Paths of Creation

Creativity in Science and Art

Series:

Sixto J. Castro and Alfredo Marcos

Edited By Sixto J. Castro and Alfredo Marcos

The Paths of Creation explores the idea of creativity both in science and in art. The editors have collected papers from different philosophers working on philosophy of science and aesthetics to show that the creative processes of science and art share identical procedures: metaphor, ruled method, analogy, abduction, similarity. They are both surrounded by emotions, contain inspirations, proceed through revolutions that maintain some kind of continuity, and have a long common history in which no one worried about whether something was science or art. The purpose of this volume is to show that there are no different rationalities applied to science and art, but the same human reason developing in different forms to create not just different disciplines, but different worlds as well.

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Part III. Historical Moments of Creativity

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Creativity, Continuity and Discontinuity in Science and Art1 J. C. PINTO DE OLIVEIRA 1. Introduction The question of creativity, continuity and discontinuity, which I intend to address here, is concisely expressed in Gauguin’s boutade, cited by Francis Haskell at the beginning of his article “Enemies of modern art”: “the curious and mad public [...] demands of the painter the greatest possible originality and yet only accepts him when he calls to mind other painters”2. Along similar lines, Gombrich writes in The Story of Art: The general public has settled down to the notion that an artist is a fellow who should produce Art much in the way a bootmaker produces boots. By this they mean that he should produce the kind of paintings or sculptures they have seen labelled as Art before. One can understand this vague de- mand, but, alas, it is the one job the artist cannot do. What has been done before presents no prob- lem anymore. There is no task in it that could put the artist on his mettle. But critics and ‘highbrows’, too, are sometimes guilty of a similar misunderstanding. They, too, tell the artist to produce Art; they, too, are inclined to think of pictures and statues as specimens for future muse- ums. The only task they set the artist is that of creating ‘something new’ – if they had their way, each work would represent a new style, a new ‘ism’.3 I believe that this question of the reception of a work of...

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