Creativity in Invention and Design

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Creativity is a topic that has traditionally interested psychologists, historians, and biographers. In recent years, developments in cognitive science and artificial intelligence have provided a powerful computational framework in which creativity can be studied and the creative process can be described and explained. In this book, creativity in technology is discussed within such a computational framework. Using an important historical episode in computer technology as a case study, namely, the invention of microprogramming by Maurice Wilkes in 1951, the author presents a plausible explanation of the process by which Wilkes may have arrived at his invention. Based on this case study, the author has also proposed some very general hypotheses concerning creativity that appear to corroborate the findings of some psychologists and historians and then suggests that creative thinking is not significantly different in nature from everyday thinking and reasoning. This book should be of interest to all those interested in creativity, including cognitive scientists, historians and philosophers of science, historians and philosophers of technology, and artificial intelligence researchers. It should also appeal to the general reader.
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Editorial Reviews

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"Dasgupta offers an interesting and successful attempt to begin the work of understanding the creative process in the mind....His enthusiasm for the subject is obvious and infectious." Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521068895
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/10/2008
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. I Creativity in invention and design: issues and ingredients
1 Creativity, invention and the computational metaphor 3
2 A computational theory of scientific creativity 51
3 Maurice Wilkes and the origins of microprogramming: the historical setting 65
Pt. II The invention of microprogramming: a cognitive explanation
4 Prolegomenon 91
5 The genesis of an idea: creating the initial sketch 103
6 The evolution of an idea: from initial sketch to mature form 125
Pt. III Reflections on the nature of inventing
7 Eight hypotheses about the nature of inventing 189
8 Epilogue 213
App. Table A: Inference rules 217
App. Table B: Facts 219
App. Table C: Noninference rules 222
App. Table D: Goals 230
References 233
Index 243
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