Friday, 30 May 2014

All first rank creative geniuses have been *at least* Platonists

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I think that, so far as is known, all first rank creative geniuses in the Western tradition have either been brought-up in an actual religion (typically Christianity or Judaism) or else are 'Platonists' in the sense of believing the 'transcendent' reality of the objects which they study or principles they live-by.

I mean that if the creative geniuses are scientists or philosophers, then they believe (live by the conviction) that truth is real and objective - even though truth is not to be found on the earth; same for beauty (if an artist), same for virtue (if a theologian or moralist).

For whatever reason (and there are several - some psychological, others perhaps transcendental) it seems absolutely necessary to believe 1. the reality of the values within which (or for which) you create and 2. that these values are binding upon you personally - if there is to be work done of fundamental significance.

Or, to put it another way; nobody has ever done significant fundamental creative work from a stance of expedient/ useful pragmatism, relativism/ nihilism, nor conformity/ careerism - but only from a stance of service to the reality of the real; and this realist stance is either a product of the creator having experienced and upbringing in (usually) a Judeo-Christian religion; or else (as with many theoretical physicists or mathematicians) his is a thorough-going, out-and-out Platonist - who explicitly asserts the reality of an ideal realm of eternal forms.

Or, are there any genuine exceptions?

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