Edited by Kerry Thomas and Janet Chan
Chapter 5: Creativity as a system in action
Creativity has been considered from a variety of perspectives and from within a number of disciplines. Starting from a primarily romantic and inspirationist base, one that had developed out of a classical worldview, ideas on creativity have been advanced through the research work of a number of disciplines. Principal among those who have looked seriously at creativity are psychologists and sociologists. Meaningful contributions have also been made from within communication and cultural studies as well as literary theory, education and philosophy and a number of other areas. It is worth summarizing some of these diverse disciplinary approaches here as they are the antecedents that have led to seeing creativity as the emergent property of a system in action. Firstly we need to give a brief account of general systems theory itself. This account will then lead us into the story of how the notion that creativity is systemic developed within creativity research. Once this necessary background is in place we can then set out the specifics of the systems model of creativity and observe how these ideas have been pragmatically applied in a research context.
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