Creativity in Science: Chance, Logic, Genius, and Zeitgeist
Psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, historians - and even scientists themselves - have often tried to decipher the basis for creativity in science. Some have attributed creativity to a special logic, the so-called scientific method, whereas others have pointed to the inspirations of genius or to the inevitable workings of the zeitgeist. Finally, some have viewed scientific breakthroughs as the product of chance, as witnessed in the numerous episodes of serendipity. Too often these four alternative interpretations are seen as mutually exclusive. Yet the central thesis of this book is that the chance, logic, genius, and zeitgeist perspectives can be integrated into a single coherent theory of creativity in science. But for this integration to succeed, change must be elevated to the status of primary cause. Logic, genius and the zeitgeist still have significant roles to play but mainly operate insofar as they enhance, or constrain the operation of a chance combinatorial process.
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according activity appears applied artistic association become career chance Chapter combinations combinatorial process concepts considered constraints contrast contributions correlation course creative products creative scientists creators criteria defined determine differences disciplinary disciplines discovery discussion distinct distribution diverse domain effect emerge empirical equation example expected experiences experimental explanation fact factors field Figure findings function genius given goals grade Hence higher highly ideas ideational impact implications indicate individual instance inventions involves latter laws less logic mathematical means multiples nature normal observed operate original output participants particular period person perspective phenomena position possible predicted probability problem programs projects psychology publication published questions random relative represent requires respect result rule sample scientific creativity Second Simonton sociocultural solution solving specific success tend theoretical theory tions variables vary whereas zeitgeist