Can creativity be taught? | Typophile
People Can Be Taught To Be More Creative;
Creativity cannot be taught.
Creativity is a release of energy and emotion that expresses our inner most desires into some kind of tangible form.
Creativity is anything that can be created.
Creativity cannot be taught, but it can be enhanced
However, it must be pointed out that there are people trained in philosophy who do not think very well, at least not on all, if any, topics. And there are people who have never had any sort of philosophy or logic course who are quite astute in their thinking in general. The study of philosophy is something like the intellectual equivalent of training in sports. Those with natural talent and no training will often be better than those with training but little natural talent, but proper training should develop and enhance whatever talent most people have to begin with. And it also must be pointed out that not all philosophical writing or thinking is very good, and, perhaps more importantly, not all philosophy courses are very well taught or very good. In fact, there are a great many, where students come out having learned very little and/or where they have mostly learned to hate what they think is philosophy and consider it to be stupid. In some cases, however, where teachers are entertaining and articulate, students come out favorably impressed, but still with little or no understanding. Neither of these kinds of courses serve students or philosophy very well, though the latter are at least more enjoyable than the former. So when I talk about the uses of philosophy or about "philosophy" itself, I really mean to be referring to the best of what philosophy has to offer, not necessarily what one might learn in some particular philosophy 101, or even upperclass or graduate level, course, and not necessarily what one might find in a book chosen randomly from the philosophy section of a university library or bookstore. The tools of philosophy are important to individuals and to society because as long as we are not omniscient, factual knowledge by itself is no substitute for philosophy, just as philosophy is no substitute for factual knowledge. Philosophy is about the intelligent and rational uses of knowledge, and it is about the scrutiny of beliefs to see how clear and how reasonable they are in the light of knowledge we have. Knowledge is the substance of philosophy, not its opposite. As I explain in "" because there is much we cannot know directly or even by observation, much of our knowledge comes from our use of reason. And philosophy, when done properly, perhaps more than any other field, gives training and practice in the most general and basic elements of reasoning. The essay "" explains what reasoning is, how it works, and why it is important. It also explains that it does not always yield the truth or knowledge, but that in certain circumstances, it is the best we can do to try to attain knowledge. In many cases, reasoning will show us what we need to find out in order to have knowledge about a particular phenomena, by showing us what the gaps are in the knowledge we have. What underlies most philosophy -- particularly perhaps British and American philosophy -- is training and practice in (1) analyzing and understanding concepts, (2) recognizing and showing the significance of hidden, unconscious, or unrealized assumptions, (3) recognizing and remedying various forms of unclear conceptualization and communication, such as vagueness and ambiguity, which are often unintended and at first unrealized (4) drawing reasonable conclusions from whatever evidence is at hand, and (5) recognizing evidence in the first place -- seeing, that is, that some knowledge can serve as evidence for more knowledge and is not just some sort of inert fact or end in itself. These things are, or can be, very important for science, social science, economics, business, and other practical and empirical pursuits, but they are crucial for knowledge about matters of value, interpretation, perspective, and that which is intangible. It turns out that much of science, social science, economics, and business contains elements of the intangible, and questions about values, which can only be dealt with philosophically. Moreover, even the most empirical matters have conceptual components that require careful analysis and understanding. The essays "," "," "," and "" exemplify that. It also seems to me that those who are most successful at analyzing and understanding concepts would also be better at teaching those concepts if (and perhaps only if) they also understand what made those concepts difficult to analyze and understand for them, and/or for others, in the first place. Nobel physicist Richard Feynman had the view that if he could not explain a concept or principle in physics in a way that a college freshman who was interested in physics could understand it, he probably did not understand it himself as well as he thought he did. I think such understanding is often important or even necessary for teaching well, but I am not sure it is sufficient, because one might be able to understand a concept without seeing why or how it might be difficult for other people to understand it. Philosophers, or anyone who has analyzed concepts, ought to have some advantage in teaching them, but that advantage may not be sufficient to teach those concepts to others very well. I have seen philosophers (and others) who were quite good at doing philosophy, not be able to teach it to beginners, simply because they left out too much in their explanations, did not start at a basic enough beginning place, did not wait to see whether there was comprehension before they continued from point to point, did not appreciate how strange or difficult or complex an idea was to the student, did not know how to get points across not only logically but psychologically, and, in short, did not know what groundwork needed to be done in order to help the student understand and see the significance or meaning of the explanation being given. My long essay "" gives an explanation and an example of how understanding a concept, and understanding and appreciating the psychological difficulties of comprehending it, are necessary for teaching it well. While the application of systematic thought to any avowedly practical enterprise such as science or business can be productive, it is also unnecessary in the sense that much is often accomplished without it, and what cannot be accomplished without it is often not missed. It only seems important in cases where practical matters come to an impasse or where an idea bears such great and obvious practical fruit that it cannot be ignored. But there are pervasive philosophical areas of life that nearly everyone recognizes as important, though perhaps not recognizing them as primarily philosophical in nature, and perhaps not recognizing that they require deeper and more sustained thought than is typically given to them, even by supposed experts. These areas include ethics (moral philosophy -- including value and "meaning of life" issues), logic or reasoning, religion or spirituality, aesthetics and related quality of life issues, and political/governmental/social philosophy, particularly for all those who have a part in government and who are affected by it, including those able to vote in a democratic or representative democracy. While everyone has "opinions" or beliefs about many of these intangible things, there are better and worse opinions, beliefs that are more reasonable or less reasonable than others. Not all opinions or beliefs are equal in quality or in value. One opinion is not necessarily as good or as reasonable as another; is not likely to withstand scrutiny or to be compatible with all the evidence available. Unfortunately in many cases, politicians, bureaucrats, news commentators.