Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The decline of God and the rise of the Artist

 Paul Oskar Kristeller

Here is Paul Oskar Kristeller (1905 AD -1999 AD), the renowned Columbia University philosophy professor, writing in 1983 on artists and "creativity:"

"The real turning point in Western thinking on what we now call "creativity" came in the eighteenth century . . . .  For the first time, the term "creative" was applied not only to God but also to the human artist, and a whole new vocabulary was developed to characterize the artist and his activity . . . . The artist was guided no longer by reason or by rules but by feeling and sentiment, intuition and imagination; he produced what was novel and original, and at the point of his highest achievement he was a genius.  In the nineteeenth century, this attitude became pervasive, and we might note with surprise that an age that found it difficult to believe that God created the world out of nothing apparently had no difficulty in believing that the human artist would create his work out of nothing."

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