Nicolas Bullot

Nicolas Bullot

Charles Darwin University


Your Artful Imagination Met History: An Argument for a Psychohistorical Approach to Creativity and Artistic Imaginings

Adelaide Workshop 2017

Several individualistic programs of research in philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences have investigated human imagination, creativity, and the arts. Individualistic models seek to describe imagination mechanisms posited to be internal to each individual human brain or mind. Individualistic models have not investigated the functions of historical cognition in our creative and artistic imaginings. I argue that the omission of historical cognition limits our understanding of the functions of imaginings in both the arts and the sciences (Bullot, Seeley, Davies in press). The core premises of my argument are that (i) historical cognition is critical to cultural learning, and (ii) cultural learning supports the development of creative imagination and decision making. To account for the historicality of artistic imagination, I discuss how to develop a contextualist model of creativity and artistic imagination, expanding Bullot and Reber’s (2013) psychohistorical model of art appreciation.