By Edwin Jones
Edwin Jones sets out to show that a phenomenological analysis of meaning can contribute to a theory of creativity in several ways. It can clarify the concept of creative expression and resolve its paradoxical appearance. Creativity must have its roots in already existing meanings and at the same time has to generate new meanings.
To illustrate, Jones shows that a phenomenological analysis can render more comprehensible the spiritual dilemma suffered by Cézanne. The artist could not render intellectually understandable to himself what he was attempting as an artist. A phenomenological approach shows, according to Jones, that the dilemma was generated in Cézanne’s mind in part by a certain implicit Galilean concept of Nature that Cézanne brought to his work — a concept that phenomenology has only recently begun to dispel by demonstrating a parallel between creativity in philosophy and creativity in art. Jones employs Heidegger and Cézanne as concrete examples and Husserl and Merleau-Ponty as other important elements in his essay.
Ultimately, Jones argues for a parallel between creativity in science and philosophy, and creativity in the arts. His is an original synthesis of the work of the three thinkers he interprets and of Cézanne’s late work, and his study should be of considerable interest to philosophers, art critics, and artists of a theoretical or reflective bent.
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