Personological Theory of Genius

Genius as a unique individuality and the pinnacle of evolution

The personological theory of genius defines genius as the peak of evolution and the crown of creation, as an original, unique individuality, as a self-sufficient integral personality characterized by extraordinary development and a special combination of integral components such as intelligence, traits, motivation and productivity.
1. Immanence and democracy of genius. Genius is the highest act of manifestation, affirmation and deployment of innate, potential properties of creative individuality. Genius is initially coiled in the essential, creative self of each person and under certain external and internal conditions, it gets the opportunity of free unfolding and assertion. “If something is humanly possible, it’s attainable by you too.“ – Marcus Aurelius wrote.
For his part, Hegel noted: “Talent is specific and genius universal capacity.”.
The same idea is continued by Otto Weinigger: Genius reveals the idea of man in the most perfect way. He proclaims for all eternity what man is: a subject whose object is the entire universe…For genius is nothing else than the full realization of the idea of man, i.e. what man should be and what he is fundamentally able to become.

2. Qualities of creative personality and genius. The personality of creative genius, – believe D. Simonton and V. Cassandro, – is a complex multidimensional construct, including such integral components as personality traits, intelligence and productivity. Creative personalities have several such distinctive features as the ability to show resilience in overcoming obstacles, openness to the world and the presence of broad interests, curiosity, absorption in the goal and a high level of intrinsic motivation (T. Tardiff and R. Sternberg). In his turn, E. Torrence and L. Hall argued that the main characteristics of genius personalities are:
1) the ability to create miracles;
2) a high degree of empathy – the ability to penetrate the needs and requirements of others;
3) an aura of exclusivity;
4) the ability to resolve conflicts;
5) the presence of a sense of what is to come;
6) the ability for transcendental meditation;
7) the ability to get excited when learning a new method of solving a problem;
8) interest in everything new and unusual.

Taylor points out such traits of a highly gifted personality:

  • desire to always be on the cutting edge;
  • independence and autonomy;
  • a tendency to take risks;
  • dissatisfaction with the existing (traditions, and methods);
  • not just denial, but striving to change the existing;
  • unconventional thinking;
  • willingness to make decisions;
  • gift of communication;
  • talent of foresight.

For his part, G. Porter believes that genius is characterized by such qualities as:
1) confidence in the inexhaustibility of the world and the abundance of opportunities;
2) the ability to put all the advantages and circumstances into a single generating pattern;
3) the ability to be in the right place at the right time;
4) the ability to envision an ideal situation;
5) holographic thinking, which requires no expenditure of mental energy;
6) the use of holistic thinking, bi-hemispheric thinking: controlled creativity, precise dreaming, logical music;
7) the ability to improvise;
8) a sense of power over the universe and its space. It is necessary to note such a distinctive quality of genius as the combination of reflexivity and spontaneity, as the ability to be fully immersed in the process and simultaneously be above it.

3. Uniqueness. One of the essential characteristics of genius is its originality, uniqueness, and inimitable originality. Geniuses reach that highest point of individuality in which it merges with universality.

4. Motivation. Genius is distinguished by its own powerful, internal, intrinsic motivation – motivation by creativity. Geniuses are distinguished by their unfathomable sacrifice. Geniuses create because they cannot help but create. They are not satisfied with either fame, power, or luxury.
For example, Van Gogh spent days and nights writing his paintings, forgetting about dinner and sleep. T. Edison claimed that he was alien to “the comforts of the rich: horses and yachts,” and for complete happiness he needed only a workshop and the opportunity to conduct experiments. The main motive of Bonaparte’s life was a thirst for activity.
“Talent does what it can: Genius does what it must.” – noted Edward Bulwer-Lytton. This formula, – wrote V.P. Efroimson, – implies the subservience of genius to the task set before him by his inner self, his subordination to his creativity, the inevitability of his straining all his strength to achieve the goal, to solve the task at hand. The true motivation of genius is his vocation, indomitable love for the idea and the need to realize it, overcoming any obstacles.