Elliot Paul (B.A. Toronto, Ph.D. Yale) works mainly in early modern philosophy and epistemology. He also has interests in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind, focusing in particular on philosophical issues surrounding creativity.
In one of his current projects he is editing a volume of original essays, The Philosophy of Creativity (with Scott Barry Kaufman, forthcoming with Oxford University Press).
What is creativity? Could a machine be genuinely creative? Is creativity compatible with following or being guided by rules? Does it make a difference if the rules are ‘internalized’? How is it that creativity can be manifest in discovery as well as invention, in science as well as art? What is the value of creativity? Is it intrinsically valuable? Is it a virtue? Is there really a link between creative genius and madness? If so, what follows with respect to how we should value or devalue either of those traits? To what extent is creativity a social phenomenon? How might creativity play a role not only the production various things but in the reception or appreciation of them as well? It is a common experience that creative insights arise not from of deliberate reasoning but unexpectedly, in a flash, while one is attending to other things or even asleep, dreaming. Also, luck often seems to play a role. In light of these points, how should we conceptualize creative agency? How should we understand the credit and praise we give to creative people?
Early Modern Philosophy, Epistemology, Philosophy of Creativity
THE PHILOSOPHY OF CREATIVITY CONFERENCE
at Barnard College, Columbia University on October 28-30, 2010.