Why seek criteria that will lead to a coherent quality theory with explanatory power?
In chapter four we will pay tribute to Alex Osborn, the author of Applied Imagination, Principles and Procedures of Creative Problem-solving. He quoted Albert Einstein on the cover of the 31st printing and 3rd revised edition, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. Alex Osborn is known as the father of “Brain Storming”, but his contribution in the area of imagination and creativity is germane to the subject matter of this book. Osborn writes that the synthesis of concepts and ideas cannot occur without analysis, hunting, combining and change. As a fan of John Dewey (American philosopher), he pointed out that our creative thinking will improve as we relate the new fact to the old, and all facts to each other. Osborn felt that we need analysis to discover relationships, relate our facts and thus enhance our ability to form a pattern – a pattern which can serve as a map in our search for solutions.
For Osborn, creative imagination has two functions. One is to hunt; the other is to change what is found. In its hunting function, our talent can serve us as a searchlight with which we can find that which is not really new, but is new to us, this is discovery rather than invention.
On the flip side – McDonald and Schneberger provided us with a snippet of information from Hadamard, author of The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field (1945), who asserted emphatically that invention is really discovery, that initial theory would come from logic and systematic reasoning. Hadamard, asserted four stages of invention applicable to theories; 1) preparation by gathering information, 2) incubation by intense thought (imagination), 3) illumination after unconscious work and 4) verification and precise definition.
In my last post regarding the elements of preparation I will address ABILITY- step 5.