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What is Genius?

Use this forum to have philosophical discussions about aesthetics and art. What is art? What is beauty? What makes art good? You can also use this forum to discuss philosophy in the arts, namely to discuss the philosophical points in any particular movie, TV show, book or story.
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XavierAlex
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What is Genius?

Post by XavierAlex » December 19th, 2012, 11:52 pm

As the Canon of Literature is revised and syllabi for classroom reading is updated, changed, created from teachers and professors, who is really great in literature and would you call them a genius? Is genius a part of the author? Does genius exist? Can it be metaphysical and independent of the writer?

Genius means what? Having uber-intelligence, in league with Einstein. Or as multiple intelligence theories show that people can be intelligent in other areas, such as emotion, social grace, etc. But for the author/artist, how do you spot the genius?

Or is there no such thing as genius? That it's 99% work and craftsmanship and 1% inspiration? What is Genius?

Fleetfootphil
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by Fleetfootphil » December 19th, 2012, 11:59 pm

Great is hard enough to find. Genius seems to me even above Einstein and there ain't many of those people, maybe none. But, if pressed to say what it takes to be that, I would say someone who opens up an entirely new area for all other people to think about and consider.

XavierAlex
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by XavierAlex » December 20th, 2012, 12:13 am

As Ezra Pound said: "Make it new."

Jklint
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by Jklint » December 20th, 2012, 1:30 am

XavierAlex wrote:As Ezra Pound said: "Make it new."
Making it new is not necessarily a sign of genius. There are many qualities. This is merely one and again not necessarily the most important.

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HANDSON
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by HANDSON » December 20th, 2012, 11:01 am

XavierAlex wrote:As Ezra Pound said: "Make it new."
In our post-modern world 'new' is no longer a consideration. There can be no new art or thought. Things can be fresh, even profound in the context of an ever-changing world, but the material/ingredience of these fresh perspectives will continue to be composed of the detritus of the past.

Genius is sensing, finding, re configuring the past and present in meaningful ways.
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Misty
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by Misty » December 20th, 2012, 11:49 am

Genius is a person who knows when to mind their own business.
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

The eyes can only see what the mind has, is, or will be prepared to comprehend.

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Fanman
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by Fanman » December 20th, 2012, 3:11 pm

Genius is someone who functions or performs to an unprecedented or extremely high level, in whichever field is their field of expertise.
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Simply Wee
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by Simply Wee » December 20th, 2012, 3:30 pm

"Everyone is a genius at least once a year; a real genius has his original ideas closer together"
"Men are not disturbed by things, but the view they take of things".

Fleetfootphil
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by Fleetfootphil » December 21st, 2012, 12:53 am

Handson: Some, maybe lots of people, talk about standing on the shoulders of giants. That does not mean that from such a perspective new sights cannot be seen or that old sights must limit our vision. Of course there can be new art or thought, To deny the possibility is to doom mankind to uselessness, and mindless repitition. I don't live in that world. Whether newness happens or not remains to be seen. Who saw Google coming when everyone was fighting the US Civil War?

Misty: That is pure crap.

Simply Wee: That is pure crap.

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HANDSON
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by HANDSON » December 21st, 2012, 12:08 pm

It looks like we may have another language bind here, fleetfootphil. What is meant by 'new'.

New might be thought of as creation: the origination of something from nothing. More commonly, what we call new is simply new to us; things, ideas, black holes, elements that have always existed but we just didn't know about or had forgotten.

As we are swept along in the flow of time and we deal with our changing situation (world population, health of the earth, etc.) we need creative solutions. The problems we face may be thought of as 'new' in some sense but everything has been faced at some time. The creative among us, the problem solvers, will find the solutions, hopefully, but they won't be 'new' rather they'll be obtained knowledge creatively applied.

Similarly in art creativity addressing our human dilemma is what we seek and consider important. This creativity will manifest itself using the means we have always had at our disposal.

Google is about information dispersal which is as old as mankind.
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Scott
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by Scott » December 21st, 2012, 12:52 pm

I think we can agree that a genius is an extraordinarily intelligent human person, by a relative measure. Genius is to intelligence what giant is to height. Any single line drawn between tall and giant or between smart and genius may be arbitrary, like drawing lines on any such fuzzy relative scales, but the concepts both still have meaning.
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XavierAlex
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by XavierAlex » December 21st, 2012, 4:31 pm

Scott wrote:I think we can agree that a genius is an extraordinarily intelligent human person, by a relative measure. Genius is to intelligence what giant is to height. Any single line drawn between tall and giant or between smart and genius may be arbitrary, like drawing lines on any such fuzzy relative scales, but the concepts both still have meaning.
"Genius is to intelligence what giant is to height." I love this analogy.

Fleetfootphil
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by Fleetfootphil » December 21st, 2012, 6:14 pm

Handson: I think most normal people have a functional understanding of what the word "new" means.

-- Updated December 24th, 2012, 5:50 pm to add the following --

I'd like to hear about someone who is truly is a genius, now. Personally, I think it is an illusion and simply out of reach. If I were really looking for one, I might go all the way back to the days before we had control of fire.

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Misty
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by Misty » December 25th, 2012, 6:12 am

A genius is a person with outstanding, unusual talent, skill. An idiot savant qualifies as a genius.

-- Updated Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:08 am to add the following --

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." by F. Scott Fitzgerald, U.S. Novelist (1896-1940)
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

The eyes can only see what the mind has, is, or will be prepared to comprehend.

I am Lion, hear me ROAR! Meow.

Fleetfootphil
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Re: What is Genius?

Post by Fleetfootphil » December 27th, 2012, 10:44 pm

A farmer is someone who is outstanding in his field.

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