Re: Creativity (was Re: virus: Is there room for mysticism?)

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. (
Mon, 08 Jan 1996 15:11:49 -0700 (MST)

On Sat, 6 Jan 1996, David McFadzean wrote:

> At 05:34 PM 05/01/96 -0800, Twirlip of Greymist wrote:
> >The biggest flaw I (as a materialist-reductionist-atomist blah blah)
> >of logic I acknowledge is that it bites creatively. The descriptions I
> Though I agree with this statement, I think it is important to realize
> that this doesn't mean that creativity isn't amenable to logical
> analysis, artists' objections notwithstanding. I believe this is
> what Douglas Hofstadter and his students have been working on the last
> few years; has anyone read his latest book?

I didn't know he had a new one out. Do you know the title?

> By now, no-one will be surprised if I suggest that creativity is
> essentially an evolutionary process, i.e. an interaction between
> the variation and selection of new ideas. Logic certainly has a
> large role in the latter process but it is less clear if it is
> needed for variation. I think it is obvious that the new variants
> are not logical deductions of existing ideas, but there are other
> algorithmic operators (inspired by biological genetics) that may be
> used: point mutations, sequence reversals, and especially crossover.

Agreed. I feel that logic/reason are too often viewed as antithetical to
creativity/inspiration. For me, they usually go hand-in-hand. The
composer/mathematician/architect Iannis Xenakis has written extensively
about the application of scientific thought and processes to the creative
arts (see _Formalized Music_) and I would quote him now if I hadn't left
that particular book at home... ;-)

--Jay Thomas