Dr.Simonton’s lecture offered an insight into the classical concepts of the hard and soft fields of studies and their specific characteristics.
I am skeptical about some of his concepts of polarizing the sciences and the arts with respect to creativity and the correlation made between artistic personalities and the insanity based on the few examples cited. Dr.Simonton commented on differences in types of creativity and the distinction between the creativity of an artist and that of a scientist. While both an artistic and a scientist require creativity to pursue their specific creative processes, the creativity required for each are different, and according to Dr.Simonton, it is the differences in their personality that make them follow their chosen fields. He also stated that scientific creativity is more structured than artistic creativity which can be unrestrained. He pointed to this being a possible outcome of an array of environmental socio-cultural influences. He noted that several artists came from an unstable family background, which resulted in their ability to be unstructured in their creative thought process, which is a probable connection to artists showing a higher rate of mental instability.
Though his concepts polarized the sciences and the arts, he did talk about his views on the growing hybridization of the two fields. As a graduate student in Arts and Technology, my work lies at the intersection of the arts, the ‘softer’ domain of humanities and the ‘harder’ areas of technology. In present times, art and design are being represented in the digital media of virtual spaces, which being an electronic medium, is in the scientific domain of technology.In today’s world, it is not impossible to envision a future where the classical segregation of the scientific and artistic creativity may merge seamlessly.
Overall, Dr.Simonton’s reading material as well as the group meeting and the lecture was interesting and enjoyable.