A Commentary on the Social Perspective on Creativity

Mark A. Runco 1
  • 1 University of Georgia, Athens, GA USA

Abstract

This commentary examines the social perspective on creativity, as presented in the featured article. There are several attractive aspects to the social perspective, but serious limitations as well, which are detailed in this commentary. The assumptions of the social perspective are also discussed. The most questionable of these assumes that social recognition and impact are inherent parts of creativity. The parsimonious alternative is to define creativity such that it includes only what is related to creativity per se and to recognize that social recognition may follow creation and is certainly extricable from it. A defence of this parsimonious view is presented. A brief discussion of possible crises in the field of creativity studies is also presented, with one suggestion being that the diverse approaches used in the field represent a kind of divergent thinking and as such represent progress, even though it is not linear. This commentary concludes with a discussion about creativity being vital for quality of life. That perspective differs dramatically from the product view of creativity which is often tied to a social perspective.

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