Creativity is often defined as the ability of humans to come up with ideas or products that are original and valuable. However, sometimes we call ideas and products creative even though they are not original in any interesting sense, and some cases suggest that creative ideas are not necessarily valuable. Philosophers have proposed various distinctions to account for different levels and kinds of novelty, but the question whether creativity involves value remains disputed. This project aims to introduce a new way to account for conflicting intuitions by distinguishing two genuinely different notions of creativity: process creativity and product creativity. A special focus lies on creativity in the arts, the role of imagination in creative processes and the role of tradition in product creativity. When it comes to creativity in the arts as well as in everyday life, our main interest is often a conscious and valuable imaginative process, which seemingly can only be ascribed to autonomous agents. This will be investigated as process creativity. However, there is a sense in which non-human animals and artificial intelligence (AI) systems can be creative: when we are concerned with creative ideas or objects, the novelty of the product relative to a tradition is in the center of our interest. This will be investigated as product creativity.
Julia Langkau's subproject
This subproject addresses creativity with a special focus on literary writing and explores general implications of the distinction between process creativity and product creativity for the notions of imagination and creativity. One of the main aims is to further develop the concept of creative imagination.
Patrik Engisch's subproject
My sub-project investigates the phenomenon of creativity in relation to the culinary domain and pursues a three-pronged strategy. At the fundamental level, I want to offer a general philosophical account of creativity that considers the so-far mostly ignored relations between the notions of creativity and creative practice. I intend to show that many theses defended so far in the literature concerning the former hardly apply to the latter. The wide variety of culinary practices understood as creative practices will serve here as a case study in the context of a general theory. My two further aims pertain to more localized contributions. On the one hand, I want to investigate how creativity manifests itself in high-end gastronomical settings. In particular, I am interested in how different forms of sensory imagination and the notion of tradition come into play to generate creativity in that setting. On the other hand, I am also interested in creativity as it manifests itself in non-gastronomical culinary settings such as home cooking. In particular, I want to understand better the relation of such creative practices to notions like well-being and the good life. Overall, I hope to offer a differentiated understanding of creativity that, first, is in a position to explain how different forms of creativity relate differently to notions like novelty, innovation, and value; and, second, can also clarify why we care about creativity in the first place, and what role it can play in our lives.
Anaïs Giannuzzo's subproject
My subproject looks into narratives as creative feats: narratives are created in order to help understand and explain our own and other's behaviours, but also artefacts and events. They can be helpful in creative processes – as a guiding thread, or as a means to communicate intentions. We develop narratives to answer questions such as: "What happened the other night with Alex?", "Can you explain why you did this?", "How did you devise this work (of art)?". Narratives are wide-ranging and ubiquitous, which could help us explain why some people confuse fiction and reality, and, for instance, fall in love with a robot. Thus, I wonder: what are narratives, why are they creative achievements, what consequence does the creativity of a person have on her narratives?