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Creativity As A Darwinian Phenomenon: The Blind-Variation Andselective-Retention Model

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Chapter Summary

In 1859, Charles Darwin advanced a theory that provided a scientific explanation for the evolution of life-the Origin of Species as the book's title has it. In a sense, Darwin's theory can be considered an implicit theory of creativity-albeit the creativity associated with life. It is a theory of how new forms emerge from the old. Campbell proposed that creativity occurred via the process of blind variation and selective retention, or what has been called a BVSR process. The Darwinian theory of creativity accounts for key features of three core aspects of the phenomenon: the creative process, the creative personality, and creative development. Given that Darwin's original theory of evolution provoked considerable controversy, it should not be surprising that the Darwinian theory of creativity has attracted extensive criticism as well.

Keywords: blind variation; creative development; creative personality; creative process; creativity; Darwinian theory; selective retention



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