Greg’s research focuses on the arts and cognition. His latest essay, entitled “Creativity and the Insight that Literature Brings”, appeared in the edited volume The Philosophy of Creativity: New Essays (Oxford University Press, 2014).
GC: I wouldn’t attempt a watertight definition but I think of creativity as the capacity to find good, unpredictable solutions to problems. Without the first clause about good solutions we simply have wildly unconventional behaviour which does not succeed, and I think a tendency to success is part of what it takes to be creative. The point about unpredictability highlights a point I would want to make about creativity being an epistemic notion: we judge certain behaviours as creative but other beings, knowing more about the workings of our cognition, might be able to predict the behaviour and for them it would not be creative. But I’d like to avoid complete relativism about this in the following way. There is generally a right perspective: that of the agent’s peers. That super-beings won’t find Einstein creative should not mean that he was not creative in thinking up the General Theory of Relativity.