Saturday, July 2, 2011

Creativity: An Intellectual Standard

Creativity is important both as an ability and as a process. It is also an intellectual standard that I strive to hold myself to.

To view creativity as an intellectual standard, let's agree on a few preliminary points. Creativity is not an exclusive ability. It can be learned. It can be taught. And like many things in life, it can be learned without being taught--but it requires nascent creativity to do so. In other words, we all have some level of creativity. So we are not really learning or teaching it, simply developing our creativity. For example, Tsonga article?

As opposed to the intellectual standards of honesty, creativity can be limited to just one standard for academic discourse. Strive to be creative. But here are four suggestions as to how to achieve this.

1) Plagiarism, of course, is out of the question. Totally uncreative.

2) Nonetheless, given that nothing under the sun is really new, we are always dependent on what we have read, heard, and seen from others. [ALERT: unproven assertion] Anxiety of influence as a literary theory is bunk, except for its foundational truism: we are all influenced by our forebears. So read a lot and learn a lot to become more creative.

3) Also think a lot. Think about your interests and take them as starting points for research.

4) Pray a lot. God is the most creative being, and He can help us to be creative in ways that best please Him and are the most creative.

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