The term creativity was invented by Alfred North Whitehead on page 21 of Process and Reality in 1929. Recently I came across this schematic description of Whitehead’s accompanying concept of the creative advance that he defined as “the application of this ultimate principle of creativity to each novel situation which it originates.” I haven’t been able to locate the primary source of the above diagram, but when I happened upon it at information philosopher I was immediately struck by how much it resembled a sketch that I made to illustrate the functionality of metaphor as a locomotive agent of empathy in literature in my master’s thesis. I was drawing on Derrida’s relational dynamic of doxa and logos separated by a hymen and Rick Altman’s doughnut holes of cinematic event.

I later drew a more sophisticatedversion of the basic hourglass glass venturi in a lesson plan entitled Moment for Metaphor to illustrate to my students how metaphor contracts a subjective reality into an anti-logic that tasks readers with unpacking it to understand the empirical truth of the moment the writer is describing. I suggested they think of writers as a tribe of hunter-gatherers whose survival depends upon their ability to harvest metaphors into sustenant meaning.

I developed the idea more fully in my master’s research.

“The resistance of the human imagination to be accurately expressed through reason is precisely what leads poets to employ metaphor as a meta-linguistic articulation of their subjective truths. By using metaphors the poet arrests logic by defying it, and thus compels the receiver into the irrational realm of the subjective. Faced with a metaphor the receiver cannot but revert to intuition and compassion in order to discern the intended meaning. Metaphor, therefore, allows intuitive emotional-based concepts that are perceived as true to be transferred objectively while maintaining their subjective integrity, which would be either distorted, destroyed, or completely unintelligible by rational-based objective interpretation. Metaphor functions as an antilogic, to express the intangibility of subjective truth.” sentio, cogito, dictum, video p. 93 Blackburn

Later in my PhD dissertation, drawing on Damasio’s idea of how learning is the ‘self coming to mind’ I explore the same basic idea within an epistemological framework that makes the metaphor of literary production the feeling threshold that separates being from knowing to identify the moment learning occurs an actual occasion of empathy, or empathetic understanding of self-production.