Artist and Scientist: Recognizing and Resolving their Differences

By Ken Stange.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Creativity is the defining characteristic of our species, and it is manifested in two domains: the arts and the sciences. It is a strange twist in the history of ideas that these two endeavours that share a common motivation and common goals, but just apply different methodologies, should have become alienated from each other. This conflict is gradually being resolved, but the similarities and differences in creativity in art and in science is still largely misunderstood. This paper focuses on the different evaluative criteria applied to artistic and scientific creative accomplishment and the different methodologies involved in creation, as well as how this relates to the choice of endeavour a creative individual chooses. This includes an examination of the personality traits that incline a person toward one or the other domain. It also touches on the causes and the recent – at least partial – resolution of the infamous “Two Cultures” schism C.P. Snow remarked on over fifty years ago. (This resolution is largely based on the realization that science is handmaiden to the arts and that science has a largely unacknowledged aesthetic component.) Both art and science can benefit greatly by a reasoned examination of how they can help each other to reach new levels of accomplishment – but only if they stop perceiving each other as in opposition. Science and art are just different ways to attempt to apprehend the wondrous, mysterious, perceptual world in which we live.

Keywords: Art, Science, Creativity, Culture, Personality, Evaluation

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.25-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 612.972KB).

Prof. Ken Stange

Tenured Lecturer, Psychology, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada

Ken Stange is a writer, visual artist, occasional scientific researcher, and a tenured university lecturer on the psychology of art. His works include poetry, fiction, arts journalism, scientific research reports, computer programs, philosophical essays, and visual art. He is the author of ten published books of poetry and fiction, hundreds of periodical publications, as well as numerous scientific peer-reviewed papers and conference presentations. A recent conference presentation on Animals and Art was chosen as the first chapter of the book Human Characteristics: Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Mind and Kind (Cambridge Scholars Publishing). He also has exhibited his visual art in various curated and juried art exhibitions.

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