The Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible

Living Edition
| Editors: Vlad Petre Glăveanu (Editor-in-Chief)

Creative Inconclusiveness

Living reference work entry


Creative inconclusiveness is a state of uncertainty in a creative process, one in which multiple possibilities are still open for exploration. Inconclusiveness is not an accident, rather it is a fundamental part of the creativity phenomenon that is not captured by the standard definition of creativity, but that is covered by the dynamic definition of creativity, within the theoretical dynamic creativity framework. Creativity requires going beyond the boundaries of existing knowledge to explore untested possibilities, irrespective of the fact that in doing so one might or might not be awarded a creative achievement. Intrinsic and extrinsic causes for creative inconclusiveness are discussed, as well as the conceptual extension of inconclusiveness, uncertainty, and possibility to the dynamic universal creativity process. It is shown how the response of the creative actor(s) to states of creative inconclusiveness is crucial, with highly creative individuals able to extract positive energy from the ensuing frustration, whereas those with low creativity abandon. Six eminent examples of geniuses who experienced very significant inconclusiveness are discussed: Edison, Marconi, Jobs, Lamarck, Van Gogh, and Leonardo. Indications for future research activities on the subject of creative inconclusiveness are provided.


Creativity Creative inconclusiveness Dynamic creativity framework Dynamic definition of creativity Dynamic universal creativity process 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DEI-Marconi Institute for CreativityUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.LaPEAUniversité de Paris and Univ Gustave EiffelBoulogne-BillancourtFrance

Section editors and affiliations

  • Wendy Ross
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyKingston UniversityKingston upon ThamesUK