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The Act of Creation (Anglais) Broché – 7 décembre 1989

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Book by Koestler Arthur

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The three panels of the rounded triptych shown on the frontispiece indicate three domains of creativity which shade into each other without sharp boundaries: Humour, Discovery, and Art. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 13 commentaires
60 internautes sur 62 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The intersection of lines of thought 5 août 2002
Par Rafe Champion - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This is the first of Koestler's big three serious science books. The second is "The Sleepwalkes", on the contribution of Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo. The third is "The Ghost in the Machine", which contains a critique of behaviorist psychology and Koestler's theory to account for the apparent self-destructiveness of human nature.
"The Act of Creation" offers a theory to account for the "Ah Ha" reaction of scientific discovery, the "Ha Ha" reaction to jokes and the "Ah" reaction of mystical or religious insight. In each case the result is produced by a "bisociation of matrices" or the intersection of lines of thought which brings together hitherto unconnected ideas and fuses them into a creative synthesis. When the lines of thought are scientic the result is a scientific discovery, when they are concerned with devotional matters the result is mystical insight and when they are on a more homely plane the result can be a joke.
The model is fleshed out with a great deal of information ranging from the religions of the world to a theory about the nervous system to account for the build-up of tension and its discharge at the puchline of a joke. Peter Medawar's review was scathing in his comments on Koestler's science, which is a shame because the book can have the desirable effect of encouraging young scientists to read far beyond the usual range of their literature.
48 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Masterpiece, sadly forgotten, worth reviving 29 avril 2006
Par Umesh Vyas - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Recently, I have read a lot of books on Creativity and Innovation. My big surprise is that virtually none of them mention Koestler's The Act of Creation. This is unfortunate because this book is probably the most authoritative examination of creativity. Attention to this classic is worth reviving.

Koestler examines three types of creativity - Humor, Science, and Poetry. Humor, according to him, is cruel (a valuable insight). Poetry, and other forms of art, integrate oneself with the World. Science occupies the neutral middle. It is amazing how Koestler manages to link all three kinds of creativity with a common framework.

My two biggest take-aways from this book are regarding the process of creation and its form.

As Koestler describes beautifully - "..uncovers, selects, re-shuffles, combines, synthesizes already existing facts, ideas, faculties, skills. The more familiar the parts, the more striking the new whole." This is corroborated by all geniuses who have stood `on the shoulder of giants'. Even inventors like Edison fit this framework. This is close to saying that instead of thinking `outside the box', link several boxes to each other.

The other great insight is that the final breakthrough is rarely verbal, but in images. So people see new insights in a dream-like trance, rather than expressing it in language. Language, probably, impedes creativity.

There are several more delightful and relevant insights on creativity in this masterpiece. Nearly a bible on creativity.
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Rarest of Intellectual Treats 21 mai 2008
Par Herbert L Calhoun - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Among the clearest books ever written in the English language on any subject, but especially on the subject of the creative process.

Koestler, a most serious, and one of the earliest Existentialist Freudian thinkers, although viewing creativity as a part of the broader process of human evolution, here parses the process down to its bare psychological essentials, rather than just down to its mere scientific essence, as say Edward de Bono has done.

Koestler believes that understanding creativity is fundamental to understanding the full meaning of man. In this incredible volume, he sets forth the theory that all creative activities -- that is, the conscious and unconscious processes underlying artistic originality, scientific discovery, humor, and even cosmic inspiration - have a basic pattern in common, which he calls bi-sociative thinking. Bi-sociative thinking is Koestler's way of distinguishing normal linear thinking from what de Bono would later call "lateral thinking:" That is to say, the kind of leaps of faith that connects previously seeming unrelated frames of thought together on a higher more integrated and novel plane. He sees a "trivalent" connection between discovery, humor and art; and incredibly, uses Rene Thom's Mathematics of Catastrophe Theory and their accompanying diagrams to demonstrate mathematically how these trivalent planes are connected in psychological space.

But there is a great deal more than just this. Koestler does not limit creative ability to man alone and among perhaps his most controversial claims in the book, he also attributes creative abilities to animals as un-evolved as worms.

Those who have never read Koestler before are in for an incredible and rare intellectual ride here, because, as always, Koestler drinks deeply, writes clearly, and plots his intellectual course carefully. Even 50 years on, he remains one of the world's leading unconventional thinkers; and as he did in "The Ghost in the Machine," "Sleepwalkers," and the trenchant political critique of the Communist system, "Darkness at noon," leaves no "sacred cows" unmolested.

The only other author I know of who writes as well in the English language as does Koestler, is Sir Winston Churchill. For that reason alone, all of Koestler's books are in my Hall of fame of books. Fifty stars.
29 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The most authoratative text on creative processes I know. 18 juin 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
The book looks at creativity from a broader perspective than what is generally portrayed in society. It looks at the creativity involved in sciences, humour and of course the arts, showing that the three types are inextricably linked, and that the creative process for genius in all areas follow incredible parallels. His theory on bisociative deductions is marvellous. One of my favourite books.
42 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The roots of human creativity and its relation to nature. 26 mars 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
THE ACT OF CREATION has attracted a cult following since its original 1964 publication. It set the stage for much of the "New Age" literature of the following decades.

Koestler draws analogies between human creativity and evolution in nature, seeing them as two different aspects of a single process.

Koestler's writing is eminently readable and still highly topical three decades later.
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