Is There a Quintessential Meaning for the Concept of Creativity?

  • Judith Siegmund Universität der Künste Berlin


A number of explanations concerning what creativity might be are discussed in the present essay. The range of diverse functions ascribed to the concept of creativity today raises the question why the term is currently attractive in so many respects: creativity is said to be both something on which everything rational is based, and the counterpart to rationality, that which is outside the rational. At first glance, this inconsistency seems to refer to an arbitrariness of the definition of the concept, and therefore, philosophically to an inability to define the term. Admittedly, one cannot leave matters so, simply by ascertaining this set of problems. Instead, one should ask whether the apparently so contradictory interpretations of the concept do not in fact have something in common, which lies (more or less explicitly) at their basis.