Defining Creativity, Part 7: Creativity as Experimentation in the Enlightenment

Every day, for a week,  I’m writing about the definitions of Creativity thinkers have offered throughout history and why each one cannot be the final definition. Yesterday I wrote about Cultural Suppression of Creativity.

Sitting under an apple tree, Isaac Newton discovered gravity. A falling apple answered for him all questions regarding the mechanics of the Universe.  So goes the legend you read in 6th grade Science.

Yes, Newton did formulate the Universal Law of Gravitation and an apple tree may have helped fine-tune his ideas about gravitational pull and power.  But, Newton’s influence directs Western Science farther and wider than gravity itself, including ideas regarding Creativity.

Newton sought to separate natural philosophy from objective observation-based science. The Scientific Method, generally divorced from pre-conceived spiritual or magical interpretations, led  to the dichotomy between science and religion.

Enlightenment ideas of High Creativity ignored the inspiration portion of Creation, because it could not be explained via the Scientific Method.  Creativity, defined by long hours and experimentation, think Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, had little to do with magic or the unexplained.

Still, some Creators had sparkle enough to cause suspicion that a final, workable definition of Creativity had not yet arrived.