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15 - Culture and Facets of Creativity

The Indian Experience

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Girishwar Misra
Affiliation:
University of Delhi
Ashok K. Srivastava
Affiliation:
National Council of Educational Research & Training, New Delhi
Indiwar Misra
Affiliation:
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
James C. Kaufman
Affiliation:
California State University, San Bernardino
Robert J. Sternberg
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
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Summary

Sa vai naiva reme, tasmādekākī na ramate.

Sa dwitiyamaichata.

[He did not enjoy himself alone.

He desired – I am alone, let me have a second one.]

Brhadāranyaka Upanishad, 4.3

Apāre kāvyasamāre kavirekah prajāpatih

Yathāsmai rochate viswam tathetadparivartate

[In the endless world of poetry the poet is the only Creator and he shapes this world, as he likes.]

– Anandvardhan (1975; Dhvanyaloka Commentary on 3.42)

INTRODUCTION

It is often believed that creativity is demonstrated when we indulge in contributing something original or novel and useful to the domains of objects and ideas. Thus any creation, irrespective of its domain, is deemed “creative” to the extent that it is different from earlier creations and has functional value (Runco, 2004; Sternberg & Lubart, 1996). In this way, creativity challenges tradition, questions the status quo, and brings in change and innovation. At the same time, the flexibility introduced by creativity empowers people to act more effectively in relation to self as well as environment.

Since creativity involves originality and novelty, it is sometimes considered to be a gift of God, but discoveries and inventions clearly imply the role of human effort. In fact, creativity is paradoxical in many respects and defies any simple characterization. Creativity is often conceptualized as a general human ability, but its apparent recognition in different areas suggests the need to accommodate diverse creative talents. Similarly, while it is related to intelligence, highly intelligent people are not necessarily highly creative.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

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