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Martin Parker Dixon

Given that it is usually the business of art to make something, theories and claims relating to creativity could with every good reason start with reflection on the nature of the thing being made. In this chapter the author picks up a line of thought from Jean-Paul Sartre: it might be that fundamentally the artist makes artworks in order to possess them; to have not only a thing but also to have the work they ‘put into’ the object (be it constructive work, emotional work, spiritual work, etc.). The chapter will demonstrate that we can suspend speculation about creativity and address instead the experience of possessing, asking what claims are being made to substantiate that possession? Consequently talk of ‘creative process’ amounts to a special manner of making persuasive or compelling possessive claims with regard to an artwork. If possessive claims are suspended, an alternative picture of the creative process appears. Keywords: creativity; possession; moral rights; Sartre; Heidegger; four causes