Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003 ISBN 1-4039-05484-3. Multiple copies in the Library Course Collection
Credit:http://www.uni- regensburg.de/Fakultaeten/phil_Fak_III/Geschichte/schelling.jpg Ready-made knowledge can only be memorized; knowledge is not truly our own until we are capable of reproducing the given content in a form of our own making... All rules for study are summed up in this one: learn only in order to create. Friedrich Schelling
DOING ORIGINAL WORK For LSE a PhD requires: assurance that the work is your own (so don’t co-publish any thesis material) a ‘satisfactory’ literary presentation Plus originality shown by: the discovery of new facts (e.g interviews, cases, archives, data, analysis, etc.) the exercise of independent critical power
YOU DEFINE THE QUESTION YOU DELIVER THE ANSWER Q A You need double-value added: - an interesting and original question or topic, and - an interesting and original answer The skills for providing each are rather different
YOU DEFINE THE QUESTION YOU DELIVER THE ANSWER QA close, integral fit between Q and A – strong structure shows originality Q
YOU DEFINE THE QUESTION YOU DELIVER THE ANSWER QA close, integral fit between Q and A – strong structure shows originality Q and A partly connect and partly don’t fit – maybe ‘original’ looks ‘weird’? Q A ? ?
YOU DEFINE THE QUESTION YOU DELIVER THE ANSWER QA Q A close, integral fit between Q and A – strong structure shows originality very loose fit between Q and A – unclear intellectual purpose Q and A partly connect and partly don’t fit – maybe ‘original’ looks ‘weird’? Q A ? ? ??
Thinking through what being originality might mean, for you, in your area
Originality Nothing was ever yet done which someone was not the first to do. All good things which exist are the fruits of originality. John Stuart Mill, ‘On Liberty’
WHAT MAKES SOMETHING ORIGINAL?
Pics from Skyscraper News Look how high rise offices compare with other older buildings, especially in their rooflines, their most visible parts
Even a partially designed roofline is more interesting
Pic from Norman Foster Associates On a small-scale a building with a defined, curvilinear overall shape is distinctive
Pic from www.virtualtourist.com/vt/4b7ec/4/112/ On a large scale the same concept transforms high rise offices
No sooner is an original idea implemented, than it visibly obsolesces its neighbours http:// http://www.citynoise.org/upload/79.jpg
No sooner is an original idea implemented, than it visibly obsolesces its neighbours
Originality keeps working in well-finished details and memorable experiences at smaller scales
Common themes Originality involves making new connections Pick up a familiar idea in one context, take it for a walk, put it down somewhere else New connections look simple, once made. There is nothing so easy as what was discovered yesterday, nor so difficult as what will be discovered tomorrow. Jean-Baptiste de Biot
http://www.ibbotson.com/images/products/kc_home.jpg Don’t read, think! Arthur Schopenhauer New connections aren’t out there in the literature
Credit:www.imageafter.com Mental connections are like lines on the palm of your hand. Connections you use a lot become deeply engrained, while those you rarely use form faint lines only. But deep-grained tracks both help and hinder.
Deliberately think in ‘blue skies’ mode, some of the time There is no such thing as a logical method of having new ideas or a logical reconstruction of this process. Karl Popper
Credit:www.imageafter.com Nothing is so evanescent as your own good ideas, so quickly past and lost Chance gives rise to thoughts and chance removes them: no art can keep or acquire them. A thought has escaped me. I wanted to write it down. I write instead that it has escaped me. Blaise Pascal
The best way to get a good idea is to get a lot of ideas Linus Pauling
Pulling it together – a checklist of potentially useful strategies for being as creative as possible
TIPS FOR BEING MORE CREATIVE 1 LOOK HARDER SCAN journals, conference papers, Google Scholar, ISI Web of Knowledge searches regularly GO TO CONFERENCES – you’re investing 3 or 4 years in a project, so know where the market’s going LOOK BEYOND your discipline at other social sciences, cross-pollinate, take good ideas for a walk LOOK OUTSIDE the social sciences, e.g. newspapers, magazines, cultural trends FOCUS OBSERVATION – look for anomalies, puzzles, inconsistencies; or evidence of what people really do, say, feel WATCH for self-imposed mental limits
TIPS FOR BEING MORE CREATIVE 2 GROW IDEAS MORE JOT IT DOWN– good ideas are very easily lost; record them immediately, and in a form you can definitely find again WRITE IT OUT – see what you think; get it down, then get it organized later on PROTECT NEW IDEAS from criticism for a time DEVELOP HUNCHES, PUSH VIEWPOINTS – your commitments can be creative drivers TARGET INCONSISTENCIES – tighten up or systematize your ideas, make them fit together USE ANALOGIES, metaphors, images to drive intuitive explanation – even in very technical areas
TIPS FOR BEING MORE CREATIVE 3 BE A CONSTRUCTIVE SELF-CRITIC SIFT IDEAS AS A SEPARATE STAGE – never brainstorm and critique at the same time CRITIQUE IDEAS ONLY IN A WHOLE FIELD – immerse in a topic, get a lot of ideas and don’t dismiss any until you have a full context FOCUS ON A PROBLEM, NEVER ON A GAP – puzzles are opportunities, gaps are just a void RUN SEVERAL IDEAS IN COMPETITION – compare your idea against nothing, and you’ll always over-identify with it; pick amongst alternatives WORK HARD ON PRESENTATION – don’t let small glitches mask genuine insights
TIPS FOR BEING MORE CREATIVE 4 USE GOOD PROCESSES PUSH THE DIALECTIC OF LEARNING – be prepared for a transition stage of not understanding TEAR THE CREATIVITY MUSCLE A LITTLE - have a go, try to make new connections; be somewhat over-optimistic and over-ambitious BUT GET GOOD INSURANCE – build in fallback options, ‘exit ramps’ and ‘second best’ outcomes – don’t let your whole project depend on innovation PEOPLE ARE MOST CREATIVE WHEN LEAST WORRIED – you need to be psychologically secure to innovate, so keep your ‘risk’ exposure comfortable for you
BUILDING ON THIS SESSION……. Check out the varied short readings on the Mi5A1 Authoring a PhD and Developing as a Researcher Web CT site. And for more on creativity, see Chapter 2