Nineteen Fifty Eight: Information Technology and the Reconceptualization of Creativity

The Cambridge Quarterly 40 (4):301-327 (2011)
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Nineteen fifty-eight was an extraordinary year for cultural innovation, especially in English literature. It was also a year in which several boldly revisionary positions were first articulated in analytic philosophy. And it was a crucial year for the establishment of structural linguistics, of structuralist anthropology, and of cognitive psychology. Taken together these developments had a radical effect on our conceptions of individual creativity and of the inheritance of tradition. The present essay attempts to illuminate the relationships among these developments, and to explain the foundational role played by mathematical, logical and information theory in all of them.
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