An eloquent exploration of creativity, The Origins of Creativity grapples with the question of how this uniquely human expression - so central to our identity as individuals and, collectively, as a species - came about and how it has manifested itself throughout the history of our species.
Chronicling the evolution of creativity from primate ancestors to humans, The Origins of Creativity shows how the humanities, spurred on by the invention of language, have played a largely unexamined role in defining our species. And in doing so, Wilson explores what we can learn about human nature from a surprising range of creative endeavours - the instinct to create gardens, the use of metaphors and irony in speech, and the power of music and song.
Our achievements in science and the humanities, Wilson notes, make us uniquely advanced as a species, but also give us the potential to be supremely dangerous, most worryingly in our abuse of the planet. Wilson calls for a transformational ‘Third Enlightenment,’ in which the insights of evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and anthropology will give us a deeper understanding of the human condition and our crucial relationship with the natural world.
“Brimming with ideas . . . . The Origins of Creativity approache[s] creativity scientifically but sensitively, feeling its roots without pulling them out.” - Economist
“Luminous. . . . A concise, thoughtful exploration of how human understanding will be enhanced by ‘a humanistic science and a scientific humanities.” - Kirkus Reviews