"I get that you're pushing Margret Boden, but all i'm seeing is you failing to present a legitimate case for her argument even in summary and resting your points on an appeal to authority along with some assumptions about what creativity is and what sits outside of the realm of human creative capability (none of which is proven)."
COMMENT: I am not pushing Margret Boden. As I said before, she is a computationalist AI theorist who believes that creativity is a tractable problem for neuroscience. I cited her 2013 chapter, called "Creativity as a Neuroscientific Mystery," to emphasis that even someone schooled in and committed to AI understands the serious problems involved in explaining creativity purely in neuroscientific and computational terms. My argument was an attempt to show that the problem is intractable, because of the nature of brain as a mechanistic, neurological machine.
"You're asking me to read her book in full when i can read the summary online and read the criticisms of her work by other academics."
COMMENT: Presenting the details of Boden's ideas on creativity, or any other computationalists (AI) strategies, is far beyond anything I intended by citing her work, and far beyond what is reasonable in the context of RfM. My point is not to criticize AI's account of creativity on its own terms, but to present a more general argument as to why mechanism alone cannot explain psychological creativity (Boden's P-creativity). I am basically in the camp of who she calls Wittgensteinians, when she says:
"Wittgensteinians in general reject psychological explanations posed at the subpersonal level, and thus criticize those neuroscientific theories that define brain-processes cognitively (or computationally), rather than purely neurologically. They accuse neuroscientists of incoherence due to the 'mereological fallacy,' which is to attribute to a part of a system some predicate that is properly attributed only to the whole (Bennett & Hacker 2003) [Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience] In this context the system in question is the whole person, the 'parts' are the brain (or parts thereof), and the 'predicates' are psychological terms such as knowledge, memory, belief, reasoning, choice-and, of course, creativity'"
This is a fancy way of saying that the psychology of human beings, including creativity, cannot be explained purely by an appeal to neuroscience, and related to the "agent" comments made by myself and Human in this thread.
"It's also disappointing to see inappropriate criticism of me by commenting on my searching online to read articles on the subject. Of course i will since the Brain and Creativity is NOT my specialist subject."
COMMENT: I apologize. I did not intend this to be derogatory. After all, I do this sometimes myself to obtain background information. But in controversial topics like the present one involving mind, brain and creativity, and involving multiple academic disciplines, an article here and there, by some AI theorist, or neuroscientist, rarely does justice to the philosophical problems associated with these issues. Specifically, citing articles that are vaguely or peripherally in support of your position does not add much, unless you can deliver the underlying philosophical argument that you believe was presented.
But as a rational individual i do look at the subject with interest and i'm not persuaded by anything you've presented thus far because
i) I don't think you are taking the time to articulate a rational case that lays out the problem sufficiently (without resting it on assumptions).
ii) Historically all such cases ultimately end up being resolved with a materialist outcome.
COMMENT: Well, O.K. that's a failure on my part. I can only say I did the best I could in the context of the Board, and the time limitations involved. I will note, however, that it is my style on the Board to address each and every point of my antagonist. You, on the other hand, have ignored much of my comments, only falling back on the position that I have not convinced you. As for (ii) above, virtually none of the issues involving human consciousness have been "resolved" by materialist, neuroscientific explanation. There is no established "theory of consciousness." If neuroscience cannot explain consciousness, and the sense of "self," in materialist terms, how can it be expected to explain creativity?
There are many articles online responding to Boden:https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6d7e/84b29dd177a538c3f613c69f6b84acd959d0.pdf
COMMENT: Thank you for this. It was rather old (1995), but interesting. I will say again that AI theorists, including Boden, are committed to a computational explanation of creativity. That is hardly as surprise. This article does not address the "mystery" aspects of creativity that is detailed in Boden's 2013 article.
I am reading on the matter, i'm looking at publications from reputable schools and academics that say Creativity is a Brain function. I presented this thread with a view to expanding insight through greater discussion, but i don't even think you are framing the argument very well.
COMMENT: I framed my argument explicitly, because it was very simple: Mechanistic machines cannot explain creativity. You still have not addressed this main point. It is a philosophical point that says basically that any mechanistic process can in principle be reverse engineered such that the outcome is in principle a product of the original state of the system, coupled with environmental input. Although data can be manipulated through brain processes operating either computationally (by a preset program) or dynamically (simply by cause and effect relationships via the laws of physics), the end result is not a 'creative act' unless there is something new added by a human agent. So, either there is no such thing as creativity, or creativity is more than rote brain processes, i.e. a human agent acting freely.
"The reality is, as much as you want to cling to a view that Creativity is not a brain function your entire argument is based on the premise that because we can't yet define precisely how it is done ergo it isn't done in/by the brain - thus Metaphysics - this is purely an assumption with no positive support."
COMMENT: You keep saying that, and it is mischaracterizing what I have said (see above). My argument is philosophical and has nothing to do with possible outcomes of various scientific or AI methodologies.
"My second contention from the above is this idea that some of the acts of creativity sit outside of the realm of human ability - that Einstein or Mozart produced works too magnificent to attribute to an evolved human brain - this is purely an assumption, we don't know enough about what experiences these men had to make the leap that their creations were greater than their abilities thus metaphysics."
COMMENT: Well, O.K. But back to my original point, how in principle can unique, creative, artistic works, that on their face involve the free, creative, decisions of artists of whatever stripe, be explained by rote, mechanistic brain processes? This argument transcends individual examples, because no matter what experiences, exposures, training, etc. that Mozart might have had, none of that explains the creative act of producing a unique, structured, aesthetically compelling, symphony; or work of art; or work of literature. Take your pick.
"Personally, nothing in the work of Mozart is so magnificent as to make it beyond human ability. As for Einstein, he is problem solving. I'm not persuaded the definitions of creativity stand up. Whether painting, sculpture, poetry, whatever the field, i see no examples at all of the product being produced out of anything other than the knowledge and combination of the insights of the applicant."
COMMENT: Respectfully, maybe you need to think about this harder. Again, what is it that brings all of the "data" together in just the "right" way to create the final product? Is it random? Is it an accident? Or is it human agency?
"I see you're cheering Boden on, but history doesn't support a non material conclusion, and i expect it won't in this instance so forgive me for being naturally skeptical."
COMMENT: I disagree with Boden on just about every issue--except her characterization of creativity as a problem for AI.
The best line you responded with IMO is this:
"But that is like a magic act; and it implies that brain itself has powers beyond its own mechanistic and computational processes. But, who knows, maybe it does."
COMMENT: Thank you, but don't miss the point. Many philosophers, Seale and Nagel come to mind, are materialists who in their own way take consciousness seriously, and in particular are critical of computational theories of mind. What they say, to put it simply, is that consciousness and mind are somehow emergent properties of the brain, which properties include freewill and creativity, for example. So, here you get all of the wonderful human properties we all cherish, and we still have a brain-based "theory." The question is by what magic did the brain manage to produce all of this.
Anyway, the overall tone is heading south and that's not something i support. So, let's park this. This won't be solved by me, nor will it be solved by you. This will be solved in time by the actual academics and researchers in the field and you'll or I will simply read about it and that about sums it up.
COMMENT: In my opinion, what ended this discussion was your admission that you think consciousness is an illusion. That is the necessary fall back position of a materialist view of mind. It is inevitable unless one invokes the magical 'consciousness out of the brain' move noted above, and ascribes the standard psychological human properties to consciousness, as also noted above. Those that have tried to avoid this result have failed miserably. (See e.g. Dennett (1991) Others have reluctantly embraced it. At least you have apparently recognized this conclusion early on. What you now have to recognize is that such a position is manifestly absurd. The very thinking about it establishes the absurdity.
Finally, I will "park" this post (at least for my part) with this last word, unless you want the final say. On a positive note, whether apparent or not, I appreciate and respect your views and comments in this dialogue, and in particular your willingness to engage me in discussion. I apologize for any offense you might have taken by my rather passionate, and at times condescending, style.