In his latest book, Ken Robinson observes in Chapter 7 that being creative is not only about thinking; it is also about feeling. For example, “Among the legacies of the Enlightenment and Romanticism are many common-sense but mistaken assumptions about the differences between the arts and the sciences.” (Page 186) What follows are brief excerpts of Robinson’s subsequent narrative.
“The main process of science is explanation. Scientists are concerned with understanding how the world works in terms of itself. Science aims to produce systematic explanations of events, which can be verified by evidence.” (187)
“Many of the great [scientific] discoveries were made intuitively. Scientists do not always move along a logical path. They may sense a solution or discovery intuitively before an experiment has been done and then design tests to see if the hypothesis can be confirmed or proved wrong. Every attempt is then made to be as methodical as possible. But although rational analysis plays a part, it is only a part of the real process of science.” (190) “Scientific understanding is the product of the creative mind…creativity is at the heart of science.” (191)
“The main process of art is description. Artists are involved in describing and evoking the qualities of experience…Artists are concerned with understanding the world in terms of their own perceptions of it” with making feelings, with imagining alternatives and with making objects that express those ideas. At the heart of the arts is the artifact. Artists make objects and events as objects of contemplation.” (191)
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“It is not what interests artists or scientists that distinguishes them from each, but how it interests them. The difference lies in the types of understanding they are searching for, in the functions of these processes and in the modes of understanding they employ. Artists and scientists are not always different people. In the Renaissance the individuals roamed freely over both the domains that we now think of separately as arts and sciences. (195)
“It is through feelings as well as through reason that we find oyr real creative power. It is through both that we connect with each oitger and create the complex, shifting worlds of human culture.” (196)
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I hope these brief excerpts convince you to check out Robinson’s latest book, Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative, New Edition, Fully Updated (Capstone Publishing Ltd, 2012) and I also highly recommend his earlier book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, (Penguin, 2009) as well as Frans Johansson’s The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World (Portfolio/Penguin, 2012), Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011) and Michael Michalko’s Creative Thinkering: Putting Your Imagination to Work (New World Library, 2011).