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Creativity and Genius: A Systems Perspective

  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Chapter

Abstract

The title of this volume, Genius and the mind, suggests that one should look for the explanation to the mysteries of genius inside the human cranium. My goal in this chapter will be to argue that while the mind has quite a lot to do with genius and creativity, it is not the place where these phenomena can be found. The location of genius is not in any particular individual’s mind, but in a virtual space, or system, where an individual interacts with a cultural domain and with a social field. It is only in the relation of these three separate entities that creativity, or the work of genius, manifests itself. In popular usage, ‘genius’ is sometimes used as a noun that stands by itself, yet in reality it appears always with a modifier: musical genius, mathematical genius, scientific genius, and so forth. Genius cannot show itself except when garbed in a concrete symbolic form.

Keywords

Nobel Prize Creative Process Symbolic System Creativity Research Divergent Thinking 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgement

The research reported herein was supported by a grant from the Spencer Foundation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Claremont Graduate UniversityClaremontUSA

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