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Leonardo, Vol. 13, pp. 323-325. Pergamon Press, 1980. Printed in Great Britain. CREATIVITV AND SELFDEVELOPMENT : A REPLV TO MICHAEL KRAUSZ* Larry Briskman** I. At the conclusion of his essay, Michael Krausz [1] suggests that his account of the relation between creative activity and self-development should be considered 'in the spirit of Wittgenstein's ladder-when it has done its job, it can be set aside at the place it brings me to' [1, p. 145]. Now, I for one have long been suspicious of this idea of Wittgenstein's-for having kicked away a ladder one equally kicks away one's ability to climb back down it again. Yet, what if one has climbed up the wrong ladder? Wittgenstein's metaphor is, I fear, nothing more than a subtle expression of an anti-critical attitude, one that is all the more dangerous for its very subtlety. So rather than joining Krausz in climbing up his ladder, I propose, instead, to subject it to some critical scrutiny. My aim is to see whether or not one ought to climb up it in the first place. Now, I am afraid that this task is made somewhat difficult owing to certain problems that I have in understanding Krausz's position. More worrying, perhaps, is that I am rather unsure as to how much he and I actually disagree in substance, as opposed to in emphasis, for in a paper of mine that he knows well [2] I explicitly argue for the idea that in producing a creative work artists and scientists transcend their Selves and thus may indirectly foster their Own selfdevelopment . But, whereas I firmly place the emphasis on the production of a creative work-selfdevelopment being conceived largely as the unintended result of a feed-back upon its producer-Krausz seems to suggest that such development can be made the focus of creative activity. It follows that he and I are in agreement in thinking that creative activity can be related to self-development; where we disagree it seems is over the issue of how to understand this relation. Thus, in suggesting certain difficulties for Krausz's approach, I shall simultaneously be arguing "This text is an abridgement of a paper read at a symposium on Creating and Becoming at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Washington, D.C., 28 December 1978. ""Philosopher, Dept. of Philosophy, David Hume Tower, George Square, Edinburgh ER8 9JX, Scotland. (Received 21 Apr. 1980) 323 indirectly for the preferability of my Own approach. These aims of mine face, however, an immediate problem, namely, Krausz's rather personalistic (one might almost say subjectivist) approach towards his entire enterprise. For he implies that it is only relative to his Own personal programme that self-development becomes the focus of creative activity, so that other artists might engage in such activity with no regard at all for its relation to self-development. The problem is that in so far as he admits this possibility it is difficult to see exactly how One is to critically evaluate his viewpoint. More importantly, it is hard to know whether or not there can actually be any criticism of his views-for given his 'omni-tolerance', it would appear as if he could respond to any proposed criticism by saying: Well, that criticism is of course part and parcel of your personal programme, and I fully accept your right to follow that programme; only it is not part of my programme. It rains, it would appear, upon selfdevelopers and non-self-developers alike, and personally programmed umbrellas are available to all. II. How, then, should one proceed? An obvious place to begin is to ask: What is Krausz's problem? What does he really want? My guess is that what really concerns him is the possibility of living creatively-of living per se being a creative activity. If, for example, the doing of science and of art somehow essentially involve creativity , and if living does not, then of what possible value can artistic and scientific creativity be for living one's life? I conjecture that Krausz would answer, none; and yet he is firmly convinced (as I am...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
pp. 323-325
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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