Divine and Human Creativity: From Plato to Levinas

John Davenport

in Will as Commitment and Resolve

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780823225750
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235896 | DOI:
Divine and Human Creativity: From               Plato to Levinas

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This chapter begins with the example of divine creativity as an ideal counterexample to the erosiac model. Plato himself appears to have recognized that his erosiac conception of motivation generates a theological problem concerning why God would want there to be a physical universe. This problem led to an alternative concept of divine creative motivation that serves as the first historical paradigm of projective motivation. This revolutionary idea is taken up in a long tradition that understands agapic regard and (more broadly) pure creative initiative in projective terms. This idea develops in Christian theology up to Søren Kierkegaard, who inspired Anders Nygren's analysis of agapic versus erosiac love. We find the same basic idea in Continental philosophers from Martin Buber and Dietrich von Hildebrand to Hannah Arendt and Emmanuel Levinas. This chapter also considers divine agape and the agapic revelation of alterity.

Keywords: Plato; divine creativity; Anders Nygren; Hannah Arendt; Emmanuel Levinas; projective motivation; Christian theology; erosiac model; divine agape; alterity

Chapter.  17943 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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