Interdisciplinearity LO22798

Richard Charles Holloway (
Tue, 5 Oct 1999 02:23:45 -0700

Replying to LO22787 --



Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's research ("Flow: The psychology of optimal
experience" and the sequel, "Creativity: Flow and the psychology of
discovery and invention") seemed to me pertinent to your question and
Steve's point.

I don't recall much discussion about Csikszentmihalyi in this list-serve,
though there's been a great deal of conversation about creativity and the
phenomenon of "optimal experience" that he calls "flow."

Writing about "The Flow of Creativity" he says, "The novelist Naguib
Mahfouz concurs in more genteel tones: 'I love my work more than I love
what it produces. I am dedicated to the work regardless of its
consequences.' We found the same sentiments in every single interview.
What is extraordinary in this case is that we talked to engineers and
chemists, writers and musicians, businesspersons and social reformers,
historians and architects, sociologists and physicians--and they all agree
that they do what they do primarily because it's fun. Yet many others in
the same occupations don't enjoy what they do. So we have to assume that
it is not what these people do that counts but how they do it. Being an
engineer or carpenter is not in itself enjoyable. But if one does these
things a certain way, then they become intrinsically rewarding, worth
doing for their own sake."

I hope that this adds something to the exchange.



"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the
people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise
their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from
them, but to inform their discretion by education." --Thomas Jefferson

Richard Charles Holloway -
P.O. Box 2361, Olympia, WA 98507 USA Telephone 253.539.4014 or 206.568.7730
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[Host's Note: IMHO, this is a wonderful and important book. In assoc with, this link...

Flow : The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


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