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Reviews345 The Languages of Creatitrity: Modeh, Problem-Solving, Discourse (Studies in Science and Culture, vol. 2), edited by Mark Amsler; 206 pp. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1986, $27.50. The nine essays in diis volume are, as is unfortunately typical of such volumes, uneven in quality. They discuss, or at least seriously attempt to discuss, creativity from an interdisciplinary point ofview. One finds them quite current, although their dirust is often historical, and diey are generally most interesting when least restrained. Maurice Finocchiaro wants to break down die misleading aspect of the separation between die two cultures and to claim that, while the reasoning found in scientific culture is die same as that found in humanistic culture when engaged in interpreting imaginative literature or in literary criticism (altiiough die respective images may be unique), there is, however, quite a different kind of mental activity in operation when one is engaged in creative writing. Joseph Agassi tells us about science as curiosity and, further, how science as an institution is a "mixed bag of honest and conformist curiosity," with die latter as a potential source of genuine difficulty. Bruce Weber speaks of die effect of the involved personalities on die speed in science (in particular, biochemical) with which acceptance occurs, as well as on die direction which development takes. He notes further tiiat literature (in particular , poetry) and science both involve a "consistent, complex interplay of uniqueness and universality." And, speaking ofmodels, WUliam Frawley uiinks it might be possible, among odier things, to develop a general theory of systems of human knowledge. Then, in a not inappropriate turn, James Dye writes of present practice in art and science as being more characterizable by die inventive man die cognitive, indicating diat both are among die fabricated artifacts of humankind. For his part, Edmund Dennett, die first part of whose essay I found particularly informative, designates four categories of interaction between technology and culture, each one, however, certainly worthy offurther exploration . In language which I would odierwise find "difficult," he neady remarks uiat "Being widi machines is our way of being in diis world," a point which leads to his conclusion diat "Technology and culture are not antinomies. They act together as a crucible for change." Stephen Barker, writing about Kant's theory of creativity, speaks of die interesting Kantian dieory of die "essentially incomprehensible character of artistic creation," of the emphasis Kant places on die creativity of the person who appreciates the work of art, and finally ofKant's claim diat die various manifestations of creativity have a clear kinship. This is followed by W. H. Bossart's 346Philosophy and Literature essay, also on Kant, which focuses on die doctrine ofdie schemata and die function of imagination (and creativity) tiiat is related to them. Bossart here points toward a unitary function such that a difference of degree rather than of kind is entailed by an application of the Kantian notions to die arts and the sciences. Finally there is Milic Capek's wonderfuUy compressed essay discussing creativity witii respect to theses of microphysics where, on this basis, he argues for die philosophic meaningfulness of die term 'creativity,' relating diereby die problems of determinism and creativity. In general The Languages of Creativity contains material which ought to be of more than merely local disciplinary interest. There is, however, one thing of particular interest to me: namely, that it is not at all apparent why, after twentyfive years, Thomas Kuhn's properly notable The Structure ofScientific Revolutions should still be given the sort of credence it is. I do not intend any diminution of the work's historical import, but radier want to imply diat it is clearly no longer to be taken as an adequate statement of the nature of science or of scientific change. More particularly, it is not inteUigible why people looking in particular at science and art do not pay more heed to Paul Feyerabend who, for all of his idiosyncratic crankiness, nevertheless has a greater sensitivity toward the interrelation of art and science man most philosophers of science. In short, for interdisciplinary studies there is more of value uian Kuhn's youdifully fertile work. Furthermore it was perplexing...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 345-346
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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