Saturday, January 21, 2023

a polymathic, protean sensibility

Yesterday, I immersed myself again (after 30 years) in Howard Gardner’s Creating Minds. I’m amazed by [1] how influential (how implicit) his understanding of creativity has been for advancing my own conception
[2] beyond his, thanks to other influences and my own work.

Actually, many of his books’ foci have been integral to the kind of practical sensibility which I generally prospect, i.e., conceptually model, relative to others’ work, my own offline, and my improvisations shared.

I had a fascinating discussion with him via several emails last month. His work complements philosophical interests more than he realizes, as educational psychologist—and intellectual historian of leading creativity, theorist of intel-
ligence, student of leading minds, explorer of flourishing life, and autobiographer. Altogether, he exemplifies the polymathic, protean venturer which I abstractly idealize, though I made no mention of my own online excursions.

These days, I’m engaged in a long path of reading—books and essays long intended for first reading, some past ones to be read again—for testing my progress of the past few years. I can’t believe that there aren’t other views which
I should appreciate, such that my own will be significantly improved or corrected.

But most reading so far (last autumn through now) has been disappointing. So,
I don’t mention that. Gardner is a great exception.

I want my more-formal venture (upcoming this year?) to be relative to a specific group of voices which exemplify (and further understanding of) the polymathic, protean sensibility I’m prospecting.