Skip navigation
Paperback | $32.00 Trade | £22.95 | ISBN: 9780262631990 | 504 pp. | 6.1 x 9.1 in | February 2000

Insights of Genius

Imagery and Creativity in Science and Art


How can new knowledge be created from already existing knowledge? Insights of Genius shows how seeing is central to the greatest advances of the human intellect. Artists and scientists alike rely on visual representations of worlds both visible and invisible.

Insights of Genius, first published by Copernicus in 1996, explores the creative leaps that led some of the greatest scientists and artists to dramatically transform how we understand nature. The scope of figures runs from Galileo and da Vinci to Einstein and Picasso. Focusing on the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the age of modern art and modern physics, the book travels through the philosophy of mind and language, cognitive science, neurophysiology, and art history. Insights of Genius discusses intuition, aesthetics, realism, representation, metaphors, and visual imagery. Allied to these concepts are causality, relativity, energy conservation, entropy, the correspondence principle, scientific creativity, and Cubism. Running through the book is the idea that science extends our intuition from common sense to an understanding of a world beyond our perception.

About the Author

Arthur Miller is a novelist and dramatist. The 86-year-old playwright, born in New York City, has enriched the stage for more than five decades with his plays, including his initial Broadway success, All My Sons (1947) and the Pulitzer Prize–winning, Death of a Salesman (1948). His novels, Focus (Reynal & Hitchcock, 1945) and Homely Girl (Viking Books, 1992), were both recently made into movies. He is also the author of several volumes of short stories, screenplays, award-winning television drama, essays, travel pieces, an autobiography, Timebends: A Life (Grove Press, 1987), and several other nonfiction works, including a book about his experiences directing a production of Death of a Salesman in Beijing. Mr. Miller has been president of PEN and is active in the international literary organization that fights censorship and government repression of writers worldwide. He resides in the United States in Roxbury, Connecticut.


"Insights of Genius is one of very few books to make a serious attempt to place scientific imagery into a wider context alongside creative activities in the visual and linguistic arts. It provides a lucid and fluently written beginning to a huge subject."
John D. Barrow, Times Higher Education Supplement

". . . the best discussion of creativity I have come across."
Rudolf Arnheim, Journal of Aesthetic Education