24.263 | Fall 2005 | Undergraduate

The Nature of Creativity


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session


This course is an introduction to problems about creativity as it pervades human experience and behavior. Questions about imagination and innovation are studied in relation to the history of philosophy as well as more recent work in philosophy, affective psychology, cognitive studies, and art theory. Readings and guidance are aligned with the student’s focus of interest.

This course has no quizzes or exams, but students are required to attend every class, (whether or not there are conflicting exams or study groups in other courses), arrive on time, and do the assigned reading for each weekly session. Attendance, lateness, class participation will be a factor in the final grade. Two papers are required: one, due on Lec #9, will be at least 1500 words long (as indicated by the computer word-count on the first page) and consisting of an analysis of one or more week’s class work on the list above and scheduled up to Lec #9, plus some outside research. The second paper will be due on Lec #13, and will deal in a more original way with a philosophical theme, as discussed in class with the instructor and approved by him. This paper will be at least 2000 words long (as indicated by the computer word-count on the first page). Both papers will be double-spaced (28 pts) and with a font of 14 pts.

There is no quantitative grading policy for this course. Attendance and class performance are a consideration in the final grade, and the two papers are required. The second paper, being longer and coming at the end of the term, is given greater importance. The two papers are graded in the usual way: A, B, C, etc.