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2012. Vol.3, Supplement, 63-65
Published Online December 2012 in SciRes (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/ce) DOI:10.4236/ce.2012.37B015
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Creativity at the Crossroad Creative Education as Moral
Dept. of Philosophy and Sciences of Education, University of Study, Turin, Italy
The man’s action, thanks to its creative capacities, gave a new order to the reality: the “created reality”
does not present simply a different order, but is an authentic transformation. Which criteria had directed
this transformation? Which will be the criteria of future transformation? The paper presents two possible
ideas about creativity and argues in favor of a creative action educated and directed by an ethical criteria.
Keywords: Component; Human Bei ng; Design; Judgment
In the 1970s, Hans Jonas denounced the danger that threat-
ened the existence in the world: the effective range of man’s
action had terminated to be small. The power to act, amplified
by the advancement of technology, was become able to modify
the state of things. The long run of consequences was turning
the “immutable” state of Nature: man’s action was creating a
“second nature” that did not respond to the law of Nature. But
not only. The chancing seemed endless.
It was necessary to know the causal scale of man’s action.
However, it was not only a “knowledge question”: it was not
enough that the technological knowledge became a “predictive
knowledge”. The power to act of the technological intervention
posed an “ethical question”.
The range ever more extended – perhaps without limits – of
man’s action went so far in wandering to everywhere. Without
direction, the capacity to change the essential immutability of
Nature and the order of things put into play the proper life of
the man. For this raison, in light of modern technological power,
man’s action could not more be “ethically neutral” .
The denunciation is still current today. Indeed, this denuncia-
tion was not considered seriously and it has become an emer-
gency. Man is ever more a spectator – not the real protagonist –
of his creative capacity . The successes of technological
action have not – often – a “reference” that gives them a posi-
tion and a value: they are beyond of Man and risk to alienate
the human existence.
The actual human identity, however, is not alienated by too
much technology: the problem is that the technological inter-
vention has not questions about the final destination of its ac-
tion. Each discourse on possibilities of man’s action is about its
functions or its applications.
It is necessary redesign the man’s action capacities in a “vi-
sion of the world” where everything has a position, a value and
a relation with the limits of the world, but – above all – a final
An Instrumental Creativity
The actual translation of creative capacity presents a particu-
lar condition. The attention is focused on the endless of chang-
ing. The creative action – with the power of its technological
version – works with the aim to produce a continuous change.
This “productive” creativity enhances its capacity of trans-
formation, but sets aside its capacity of improvement. The crea-
tive action not always realizes the better transformation: its
intervention does not pose the question what is better (or worse).
It is become an instrumental creativity having the function to
produce new changes.
This creative action presents two main consequences: the
first concerns the action’s subject; le second, the action’s re-
A productive creativity transforms the subject in a “subject
of production”. The man is not more the changing author, but a
Also, a productive creativity transforms the results in effects
without control. The limit of this creative action is the limit-
lessness and, above all, the possible immortality of its effects
The creative capacity serves today to invent many means.
But means to achieve what? The authentic power of creativity
is to invent final aims.
So it is necessary to consider the creativity not only as an in-
Creativity as Original Capasity
A Free Action
The man’s action is a particular process. The changing
caused by human intervention is not simply the necessary con-
sequence of previous conditions: it is the expression of an act of
freedom. In fact, man can do else: he is not bound to a specific
result (how it happens in Nature) because he is capable to en-
larging the boundaries of natural continuity and going beyond.
When he acts, man initiates, begins, puts in motion some-
thing . This start can not be fully anticipated by the previous
events because it depends on the man’s initiative. Man – only
the man – is capable to take the initiative. Man’s action has an
only one cause: the man that did it.
Each man is formed by this original capacity: he is capable to
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
commence an action that could not happen else. Through the
action of this extraordinaire capacity, the reality is not more
only how it is, but i t be comes how it could be .
The creative action can not be confused with an act of ex-
planation. Thanks to the creative action, the changing can fol-
low a “free” direction, namely a direction that the reality could
not take without the free “interpretation” of each man.
An Unpredictable Action
Concretely, the creative capacity that characterizes the hu-
man action translates in the creation of something new e and
unexpected. The action that transforms the order of reality,
creating a “different” reality, is an unpredictable action.
The creative action has not predetermined contents. The
creativity does not allow anticipation: this action could not be
an human action if anticipated. Moreover it does not allow
computation: man could not be the author of his action if com-
Man becomes interpreter of reality creating a new and un-
predictable version of reality: his interpretation does not just
give a different order to things, but it gives them a sense and a
value. The created order is vision of the world where every
thing has a position and a meaning (not only a function).
A Perspective Action
The renewal generated by human creativity can not be arbi-
trary. Creativity is not even a choice between many and indis-
tinct possibilities. By acting, man gives to the reality of things a
perspective. The chosen perspective has to be an authentic im-
provement. But which is the criteria of authenticity that must
direct the creative action?
Being human has to be an human being. By creating, man
does not repeat a predetermined sequences of acts: his interpre-
tation has to return the reality giving it a human version, name-
ly a significance.
This assignment of signification is an act of responsibility. In
fact, the interpretation by which man creates is necessarily a
response: it responds of humanity being but responds to each
By reason of this act of interpretation, creativity is always a
judgment: this capacity recognizes the potential value into real-
ity and takes a position to realize it. It is the reason in why the
creativity acts as cause for. Man’s action is the only changing
capable to act in the name of.
Consequently, creativity is necessarily to be considered as
decision and engagement too: it acts to put in place the recog-
nized value and engages in the taken direction.
Man’s action is not authentically creative when it does not
respond, not decide, not engage: the action that is not responsi-
ble for human being is not authentically creative. Each man’s
action must take a human direction.
This act, however, is a capacity: therefore it remains a possi-
bility. Its effective exercise is an educational task.
Education for Creativity
The Practice of Design
The creative changing is demand, research, design. The hu-
man changing is, at first, a form of thought that constantly asks:
who? What? Where? At w ha t time? How? Why?
Il is necessary to educate to the demand. But the education
has to educate to the most important demand: who is man?
Nevertheless, the educational task is not solved in an act of
cognition: the problem is not simply to know what or how is the
The education has the task of cultivating the sensitivity to-
ward human being: the attention is a fundamental practice in
the creation of a human change. A inattentive action is insi-
dious and devastating because it makes the change as a defor-
mation. Only an attentive thought can research and recognize
the man’s possibilities: being human is not a foregone conclu-
sion, but it is novelty, surprise and also mystery .
Man must respond to these questions, but his creative action
is not only a response: it is always a proposal because it design
the image that will be the direction of human being. Design
means, de facto, to choose the human destiny.
For this reason, the education for creativity must exercise
man’s action in situations where it is necessary a choice. But
every choice is a judgment.
The Practice of Judgment
The changing is truly creative only when man’s action gives
to the changing a direction that meets the human sense. It be-
comes important, as consequence, to exercise the man’s capac-
ity to judgment. The education must assume – once again – the
task to build this capacity.
This is what William Heard Kilpatrick asked since 1926
when he wrote the pages of Education for at a Changing Civi-
lization, in reply to the incessant scientific progress: If the
progress of science is, as it seems, a growing tendency to cri-
ticize and to question institutions accepted until then, follows
the demand that education shall if possible increase the capa city
to judge. Otherwise, destruction may flourish the expense of
The judgment capacity that the educational process has to
exercise is the capacity to distinguish between what “evidence”
and what “denies” the human sense.
However, the exercise of judgment is a very difficult practice.
The judgment that gives form to the creative action is the act
that gives commencement to the creative action: the judgment
is the beginning and, as such, indicates the direction. Conse-
quently the education for creativity is, first of all, the space for
the reflection and the research of a unitary orientation.
If the creativity starts through the practice of judgment, it
means to transform the creative action in a real discipline. The
creative process must be accomplished – all the time – as a
process of fidelity, consistency and courage.
The Future of Creativity
For man, creativity is not just a possibility, but a necessity:
the human essence is in the creative action, in an action that
redesigns the being human giving a sense, namely a different
direction from the course of the Nature. In fact, if the change
does not imply a creative direction, it remains mere extension
of the past. If the change is just an extension of the past, it can
not design a role, a position and a sense for the being human,
Creativity is a necessity that has the power of the imperative.
Only a creative direction raises the man from a life of repetition.
Only a creative direction can open the space and the time for an
action that designs and realizes the human being. In fact, the
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
man that does not act creatively loses everything, that is, he
loses the possibility to live freely and to give a meaning to own
existence in the world.
The story of each man depends from creativity. The history
of humanity depends from the men’s creative actions.
However, it is not sufficient the imperative of creativity to
realize a new reality. It necessary to desire to realize the reality
designed by the creative action. The man can realize a new
world just when he desires sincerely the change and believes in
what he desires.
Then, it is necessary a “credo” to transform the succession of
the changes in the realization of a design.
Every change has to be marked by a direction: the direction
is implied in the same idea of change. How can we design the
human direction today? The choice can not be neutral because
the question is an existential question.
This neutrality is the problem of technology today. Of course,
the technological intervention is one of the most significant
expression of man’s creativity. However, it is thought and re-
searched to be “ready to use”: it follows a freedom of the mo-
ment or a meaning appropriate to the situation. This to be “usa-
ble” has always a deadline and causes a untrue freedom and a
evanescent meaning. Consequently, it is not a technology really
compromised with an idea of human destiny.
It becomes urgent that the technological expression of crea-
tivity compromises itself indicating clearly for which human
being intends to act.
Which human identity will the creative action propose?
Which profile will the future image of human being have? In
real terms, who will be the author and the receiver of the im-
provement realized by the creative action?
The different responses meet themselves at a crossroad: the
direction of creative action is marked by an image of human
being that can be “individual” or “collective”.
If the creativity will follow an individual direction, the crea-
tive action will become a competition: it will end with the vic-
tory and the supremacy of only one.
If the creativity will follow a collective direction, the creative
action will become a collaboration: it will work to a result to
share with everyone.
These directions present two radically different images of
humanity and two radically different destinies of human exis-
tence: the future generations wait for our judgment and our
H. Jonas, The Imperative of Responsibility. In Search of an Ethica for
the Techological Age,, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press,
1984, pp. 3-9.
G.O. Longo, Homo Technologicus, R ome, Meltemi, 2005, pp. 14-17.,
G. Anders, Gewald. Ja oder nein. Eine notwendige Diskussion (tr.
Violence: Yes or No. A Necessary Discussion), Munich, Knaur,
H. Arendt, The Human Condition, Chicago, University of Chicago
Press, 1998, s econd edition, p. 128.
J. Dewey, The Need f or a Recovery of Philos ophy in J. Dewey (et al.),
Creative Intelligence. Essays in the Prag matic Attitud e, New York , H .
Holt and Company, 1917,. p. 36.
A. Heschel, Who in man? , Stanfo rd, Stabf o rd Un iversity Pr ess, 1 96 5 , p.
W.H. Kilpatrick, Education for a Changing Civilization, New York,
The Macmil lan C ompany, 1926, p. 67.