Creative Discourse as a Means of Exploring and Developing Human Creativity

Creative Discourse as a Means of Exploring and Developing Human Creativity

Tasos Michailidis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece) and Gina Paschalidou (Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6992-3.ch003

Abstract

The chapter explores and elucidates the ways in which the cultivation of creative discourse is associated with the formation of the necessary conditions that promote human creativity. The study focuses on revealing the mechanisms behind their attempts of personal expression which incite a multifaceted processing of reality and a redefinition of the relationship between pre-existing and newly acquired knowledge. These mechanisms are studied in order to identify the ways in which creative discourse, under specific conditions, can transform from an innate human capacity into a creative ability.
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Background

The concept of creation in many ancient civilizations – for instance, the role of the Muse in Homeric epics – has been associated with the Divine and has retained this mystic reception for centuries, since the creative product was not perceived so much as the product of human intelligence, but mostly as a transcendent intervention that guided the human spirit. Up to the 18th century, the concept of creativity was considered by both pagan and Jewish-Christian tradition to be a work of synthesis of the human and the divine element, as the creative subject could perform the process of “spiritual birth” through divine mediation; that is, through the assistance of the Creator of the world.

The concept of the Creator refers to the Creator-God who is the generator of the creative subject and bestows to him/her the ability to create (Pope, 2005). In general, this projection of inspiration to a heterogeneous subject is the tenet that will change throughout time on the concept of creativity.

With the term heterogeneous subject we mean the external force by whom/which the creative subject feels that he has been pushed towards creative expression in order to express something with aesthetic excellence (Derrida, 1992). In any case, the Age of Enlightenment was groundbreaking in the perception of creativity, since the rational understanding of human spirituality at that time led to a reassessment of who/what creation stems from; afterwards, human intellect has been regarded as capable of producing knowledge and discovering new fields of perceiving reality (Karakitsios, 2012).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Generative Creativity (or Productivity): The inherent property of language that allows humans to combine known words in new sentences; the ability of humans to understand every new sentence in a given language although they may have not heard it again before (emphasis on syntax).

Creative Writing: Any writing used for personal expression, using ideas, emotions, imagination, and narrative techniques; also, the educational process aimed at cultivating and systematizing the creative discourse of trainees.

Defamiliarization: The deviant, unconventional, and poetic use of language, found primarily in literary texts but also in any discourse considered creative.

Convergent Thinking: The cognitive processes related to critical and analytical thought that help the individual to classify, analyze and synthesize information in order to come up with one single answer/solution to a question/problem.

Creative Subject: The person who creates/acts creatively.

Critical Thinking: The complex mental process in which the individual distances him/herself from the experience and the social projections of consciousness, trying to reflect on their rational basis, but also their impact on his/her social and personal life.

Literariness: The set of literary features that signify and organize literary discourse that produces the aesthetic function of the literary code.

Lexical Creativity: The inherent property of language that allows humans to create new meanings and concepts through figurative language (metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, onomatopoeia, idioms), irony, wordplay, humor (emphasis on lexis).

Creativity of Language/Linguistic Creativity: The inherent capacity of the language code that allows for the unlimited production of new meaningful sequences of language.

Divergent Thinking: The cognitive processes that are related to the reconstruction and re-formation of information. The individual works experimentally and imaginatively to find multiple alternative answers/solutions to a question/problem.

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