The Act of Creation
by Arthur Koestler
The Act of Creation (Arkana) by Arthur Koestler
Bookseller: ExtremelyReliable US (US)
Bookseller Inventory #: DADAX0140191917
Title: The Act of Creation (Arkana)
Author: Arthur Koestler
Book condition: New
Quantity available: 1
ISBN 10: 0140191917
ISBN 13: 9780140191912
Publisher: Penguin Books
Place: New York, New York, U.s.a.
This edition first published: June 5, 1990
The Act of Creation is a brilliant and important analysis by a famous author of the artistic and scientific faculties of man, including humour. In this major study Arthur Koestler advances the theory that all creative activities – the conscious and unconscious processes underlying artistic originality, scientific discovery, and comic inspiration – have a basic pattern in common, which he attempts to define. He calls it “bisociative” thinking – a word he coined to distinguish the various routines of associative thinking from the creative leap which connects previously unconnected frames of references and makes us experience reality on several planes at once. He also suggests that phenomena analogous to creativity are manifested in various ways on various levels of the animal kingdom, from flatworms to chimpanzees, if the experimenter knows how to look for them. The dog trained by Pavlovian methods is given as little chance to display originality as the human robots of Brave New World. But under appropriate conditions, man and animal are shown to possess unsuspected creative resources. The problem of creativity is fundamental to the assessment of man’s condition. The dominant trend in the last fifty years of academic psychology was to take a view of man which reduced him to the status of a conditioned automaton. “I believe,” Koestler writes, “that view to be depressingly true – but only up to a point. The argument of this book starts at the point where it ceases to be true. There are two ways of escaping our more or less automatized routines of thinking and behaving. The first is the plunge into dreaming or dream-like states, where the rules of rational thinking are suspended. The other way is also escape – from boredom, stagnation, intellectual predicaments and emotional frustrations – but an escape in the opposite direction; it is signalled by the spontaneous flash of insight which shows a familiar situation or event in a new light.”.