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Making Chance Meaningful: Exploring Links with Creativity and its Culturally Subversive Application

Mederer, Marie-Louise (2015) Making Chance Meaningful: Exploring Links with Creativity and its Culturally Subversive Application. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Throughout history the study of chance has largely been either neglected or dismissed as futile. This changed around the end of the 19th century and since then interest in chance phenomena has exponentially grown up to this day. This thesis addresses the question what influenced this increase in interest occurring around the turn of the last century. The approach is interdisciplinary and takes three main theories of chance from the subject areas of philosophy, analytical psychology and avant-garde art, mainly literature, as its starting point. The theories are Charles Sanders Peirce's tychism, Carl Gustav Jung's synchronicity and André Breton's objective chance. From these theories it can be deduced that the growing interest in chance arose as an expression of the ‘epistemological uncertainty’ marking the age. Besides the exploration of what chance in itself could be, all three were also keen to investigate its impact on man. Furthermore, by acknowledging the significance of the irregular and unpredictable they, in their own ways, employed chance as a tool of cultural subversion, namely to counteract the dominance of rationality prevailing since the Enlightenment. As part of the analysis of chance’s impact on man, it emerged that they all either explicitly or implicitly deal with the relationship of chance and creativity and how chance can affect the creation of the new and original.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Marie-Louise Mederer
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2016 11:43
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2016 11:43
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15914

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