ancilla iuris

Rewarding Creativity

in Law, Economics and Literature

Scientific, literary and artistic products are the outcome of what in the Western world has been called, at least since the 18th century, creative human labor, or simply, creativity. Since creativity is one of the foremost faculties of the human being, it is in the common interest to protect and encourage it. The problem seems only to be how to do it. How is it possible to make laws consonant with this sound and universal tenet? What measures should be taken? But even prior to that: how can one orient himself with confidence in these questions? In a sense, since the dawn of Western culture, these questions have raised serious discussions. However, the shape these questions have taken today is something new; it is the eventual result of a “revolution” begun two and a half centuries ago that upset the way our humankind relates to works of art and thought. This paper explores the question of what does “rewarding creativity” mean today? And what did it meant before the rise of the modern world? Questioning the principles and institutions that regulate and have regulated the rewarding of creativity in Western culture, might allow us to become better aware of our present situation as regards to art, knowledge and learning – knowing full well that this situation is so puzzling that no historical analysis as such can pretend to shed a complete light on it.

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Published 31.07.2006
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