Creativity in Art

Philip Alperson

in The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780199279456
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Creativity in Art

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Perhaps no other concept seems as fundamental to common thinking about the arts as the concept of artistic creativity. This is not because creativity seems to most people to be unique to art. Quite the contrary: we speak freely of creative activity in the sciences, in academic disciplines, in cooking, in sports, and, indeed, in virtually every area of human productive endeavour. Nor is this surprising. Creating and making are closely associated etymologically (from the Latin creare) and in the popular mind, and it does no violence to common sense to say that what can be made or done can be made or done creatively. Nevertheless, creativity, if not a necessary condition of artistic practice, seems at least a hallmark or a characteristic feature of art generally. And so we think of artists as creating their works, we think of works of art (including physical things, performances, events, and conceptual objects and structures) as artistic creations, and we praise artists, their works, and even entire artistic epochs for their creativity. Many people take artistic creation to be the quintessential human creative activity.

Keywords: artistic creativity; creative activity; human productive endeavour; artistic practice; conceptual objects; artwork

Article.  6308 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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