PPIG: Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Group

Speaker: Professor Karin Kukonnen (University of Oslo)

Title: Creativity in Literature

Abstract: On the empty page, anything is possible. How do writers then invent a new story or new ways of telling old stories? How do they design probabilities for their readers, when they themselves do not yet know what their text will look like? How do they reinvent themselves from one book to the next? In this talk, I will propose a model for understanding creativity in literary writing, based on the predictive processing framework and 4E cognition. Creativity in literary writing, I propose, needs to be understood as a process that (1) combines spontaneous and deliberate modes of agency (see also Dietrich 2015); that (2) embeds these modes of agency in embodied practices; and that (3) develops the expertise in these practices that writers have accumulated across their career. What distinguishes writing practices that we call ‘creative’ from everyday writing, I argue, lies how authors use them to maximise contingency in the initial phase of the writing process before then translating them into the (illusion of) necessity that form gives to the literary text, namely, what I have called its “probability design” (Kukkonen 2020). Contingency, practice and form are hence the three key terms along which I propose to conceptualise creativity within the predictive processing framework.

Further information

We are a group of researchers from diverse backgrounds in the above-mentioned groups (and beyond) who aim to gain an interdisciplinary yet deep understanding of the threads that bind the human mind and the world. In particular, this seminar series focuses on the nature of cognition, metacognition and social cognition. We’ll be tackling questions such as, what does it mean to think? What does it mean to think about thinking? And, what does it mean to think about one’s own thinking versus thinking about the thinking of other people? Please come along!

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Contact details

Tillmann Vierkant

Nov 16 2023 -

PPIG: Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Group

2023-11-16: Creativity in Literature

Room G26, Psychology Building, 7 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9JZ