Modes of Creativity

Modes of Creativity

Philosophical Perspectives

By Irving Singer

Afterword by Moreland Perkins

Philosophical reflections on creativity in science, humanities, and human experience as a whole.





Philosophical reflections on creativity in science, humanities, and human experience as a whole.

In this philosophical exploration of creativity, Irving Singer describes the many different types of creativity and their varied manifestations within and across all the arts and sciences. Singer's approach is pluralistic rather than abstract or dogmatic. His reflections amplify recent discoveries in cognitive science and neurobiology by aligning them with the aesthetic, affective, and phenomenological framework of experience and behavior that characterizes the human quest for meaning.

Creativity has long fascinated Singer, and in Modes of Creativity he carries forward investigations begun in earlier works. Marshaling a wealth of examples and anecdotes ranging from antiquity to the present, about persons as diverse as Albert Einstein and Sherlock Holmes, Singer describes the interactions of the creative and the imaginative, the inventive, the novel, and the original. He maintains that our preoccupation with creativity devolves from biological, psychological, and social bases of our material being; that creativity is not limited to any single aspect of human existence but rather inheres not only in art and the aesthetic but also in science, technology, moral practice, as well as ordinary daily experience.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262014922 328 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$26.95 T ISBN: 9780262518758 328 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


Moreland Perkins.


  • Singer has investigated a wide variety of topics over his long and productive academic career. Despite this variety, however, there has been a single-minded tenacity to his work as he focuses on a common theme: human creativity. In this excellent new work, Singer tackles this difficult notion with his usual aplomb. It was a joy to read.

    Scott Stewart

    Professor of Philosophy, Cape Breton University

  • The writing in this book is classic Singer: gracefully urbane, informed, insightful, and easily at home with the whole Western tradition in philosophy. His book is oriented in a genuinely open way to anyone interested in the subject of imagination and creativity. Readers will welcome its wholesome sunlit sanity amid the fogs and miasmas of postmodernism.

    Thomas Alexander

    Department of Philosophy, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

  • This book is vintage Singer: thoughtful, well informed, sensitive, and sensible. It rewards the reader with a host of good ideas.

    John Lachs

    Centennial Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, and author of The Relevance of Philosophy to Life