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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(228mm x 152mm x 14mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Dean Keith Simonton
Dean Keith Simonton is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of nine books, including Genius, Creativity, and Leadership (1984), Scientific Genius (Cambridge 1988), Psychology, Science, and History (1990), Greatness (1994), Origins of Genius (1999) and Great Psychologists and their Times (2002).