Journal Article

Human Creativity: Its Cognitive Basis, its Evolution, and its Connections with Childhood Pretence

Peter Carruthers

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 53, issue 2, pages 225-249
Published in print June 2002 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online June 2002 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/53.2.225
Human Creativity: Its Cognitive Basis, its Evolution, and its Connections with Childhood Pretence

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Philosophy of Science
  • Science and Mathematics

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This paper defends two initial claims. First, it argues that essentially the same cognitive resources are shared by adult creative thinking and problem‐solving, on the one hand, and by childhood pretend play, on the other—namely, capacities to generate and to reason with suppositions (or imagined possibilities). Second, it argues that the evolutionary function of childhood pretence is to practice and enhance adult forms of creativity. The paper goes on to show how these proposals can provide a smooth and evolutionarily‐plausible explanation of the gap between the first appearance of our species in Southern Africa some 100,000 years ago, and the ‘creative explosion’ of cultural, technological and artistic change which took place within dispersed human populations some 60,000 years later. The intention of the paper is to sketch a proposal which might serve as a guide for future interdisciplinary research.

1 Introduction

2 Creativity and Pretence

3 Language and Creativity

4 Language and Cultural Accretions

5 Language, Play and Model‐Building

6 Creativity, Protean Cognition and Sexual Selection

7 The Evolution of Pretence

8 The Emergence of Supposing

9 Pretence and Motivation

10 Two Objections

11 Conclusion

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.