Structural-functional theories of Genius


Structural-functional theories

Structural-functional theories of genius based on originality and degree of development of separated complete components of personality and, accordingly, the ways and mechanisms for their implementation. These theories explain by means of which integrated internal components and  by which  kind of activity genius realize his or her universal creativity.
The structure of creative position of personality reflects an invariant three-component structure of  the integral objects and includes cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components. Yet Francis Galton (1875) and later many another researchers have considered a genius to be higher level combination of the three traits – intelligence, passionate zeal and extraordinary efficiency.
At the same time in the structure of personality it is necessary to allocate axiological (value) component that permeates the three-component structure, and appears not as its own top level, but as its systematizing factor and the center of the organization.
Some researches determine genius as the striving for the highest purposes, standards and ideals, many authors  believe that the mark of genius is exceptional mental abilities and  intellectual riches.
At the same time, the living core, heart, genesis and a spring of genius, is passion and obsession with the new ideas.
“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence, – said  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius”.
Wherein almost all researchers agree that the genius is a great will, hard work, extraordinary persistence and aptitude for patience. “ God gives talent, work transforms talent into genius”, –wrote Anna Pavlova.

Table 3.  Structural-functional theories of Genius

Components Theories

Perfectionistic theory argues that the cause of genius is a desire and abilityto improve
everythingthat exists and permanent   adherence to the highest standard of excellence.  According this theory genius tending to achieve highest goals and excellence, and working hard toward them.

Intellectualistic theory of genius, argues
that genius is an person of extraordinary intellectual power, exceptional and unusual mental ability. It  is  a person having an extraordinarily high intelligence rating on a psychological test, as an IQ above 140.


 Passionarity theory believes that the basis of genius is a boundless love to the world, love for men and own cause, as well as a passionate desire to know the truth.


 Working-capacity (industriousness, hard work, labor) theory. This theory argues that the genius is the result of titanic work, exceptional working-capacity, tremendous industriousness, perseverance and immense patience, extraordinary dedication and henomenal willpower.

1. Perfectionistic
(From Latin. Perfectio, supreme perfection, ideal) theory argues that the cause of genius is a desire and ability  to improve everything that exists and permanent  adherence to the highest standard of excellence.  According this theory genius tending to achieve highest goals and excellence, and working hard toward them. Besides  genius achieving the ideal by the mean of doing a great,  titanic  job and saturation the objects by the highest values of beauty, truth, goodness and benefit.
Perfectionism – based on a powerful driving force in human life and evolution, which manifests itself in personality’s persistent drive for perfection. Achieving of perfection requires intense concentration, indefatigable efforts and  re-work cycles.  It is a drive and ability to elaboration, the capacity to refinement, adherence to the principle of  perfectionism -“God is in the details”. The main destination of genius is to establish “a higher order in which unity is achieved or restored, and in which humanity is fully realized” (R. Currie).
“Genius is much more likely to use their strength for the organization of already existing elements and giving them a hitherto unknown power, expressiveness and strength rather  than on finding and creating these very elements (Joly).

2. Intellectualistic
theory of genius, argues that genius is an person of extraordinary intellectual power, exceptional and  unusual mental ability. It  is  a person having an extraordinarily high intelligence rating on a psychological test, as an IQ above 140. “An intelligence is the ability to solve problems, or to create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings ( H.Gardner). That is why genius is connected with an extremely powerful intellectual capacity in the production of creative and original work.
This quality characterizes primarily the scientific genius, which is possessed of globality and depth of problems comprehension, the extraordinary clarity of thought, the tendency to formulate and solve fundamental contradictory trends of science development (G.Holton). At once H. Gardner has articulated eight basic types of intelligence, which, in fact, reflect different ways of interaction  with the world. Thus, the geniuses in all kinds of creative activities are characterized by the ability to see a main thing,  to grasp the essence and deep connections between the phenomena, intuitively reveal the hidden order and the universal laws of existence.

3. Passionarity (From Latin passio, passion) theory believes that the basis of genius is a boundless love to the world, love for men and own cause, as well as a passionate desire to know the truth. According the idea of passionarity a progress made by creative, passionary individuals , who are a accumulators and bearers of creative, emotional, and volitional energy that Earth receives from the Cosmos. The term “Passionarity” introduced by Lev Gumilev to signify the person’s ability for changing the outer world and disturbance of inertia of the aggregative state of an environment.
Individuals possessing this intrinsic drive towards purposeful activity perform actions that break the inertia of tradition and initiate change in the environment.
Ppassionarity is considered as a personal characteristic which is opposite to the instinct of self-preservation. It is  a source of  intrinsic motivation for creativity, which is based on expansive tendency, made up of instincts for exploring, intention of enjoying a novelty and risk. (M. Czikszentmihalyi).
Zeal, enthusiastic devotion to a cause or ideal goal and tireless diligence, and also a passions and  powerful intense emotion of various kinds such as  joy, hatred, anger, boundless enthusiasm and love can be considered as  manifestation  of passionarity genius. “Passion is the Genesis of Genius” (A. Robbins), “Passion is like genius: a miracle” (R. Rolland), “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion” (Friedrich Hebbel).
Ch.Darwin and I. Pavlov wrote that love and great passion for science are essential qualities of a true scientist, and 0.Balzak, L. Tolstoy, M. Gorky claimed that everything done with love is brilliant. Love makes man a creator, raises him to a new, higher levels of existence, that embodied new ideas, meanings and values (B.P. Vysheslavtsev). Without passion there is no ingenuity (T. Mommsen). “First and last, what is demanded of genius is love of truth” (Goethe).

4. Working-capacity  (industriousness, hard work, labor) theory. This theory argues that the genius  is the result of titanic work, exceptional working-capacity, tremendous industriousness, perseverance and immense patience, extraordinary dedication and phenomenal willpower. In concentrated form it is expressed in the famous statement by Thomas Edison: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. J. Duglas believed that genius is inherent in every person, and it is achieved through the ability to work and beat at one point and “King of Mathematicians” Karl F. Gauss claimed that differs from others only by diligence. “I know no such thing as genius. Genius is nothing but labor and diligence” (W.Hogarth).
Charles Darwin among his own major qualities singled out great patience when thinking of any questions and diligence in observing and collecting facts. When Newton was asked how he managed to do as much discoveries, he replied: “I’m constantly thinking about them, that’s all”.
Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity (L. Pasteur).
According to this theory the essential qualities of genius are perseverance, steadfastness, perseverance, diligence, hard work, efficiency, persistence, durability, operability, tenacity, endurance the ability to deeply focus on a specific issue for a long time. “There can be no genius without exceptional energy and exceptional performance capacity” (W.Liebknecht). “Genius is only great patience” ( G-L.Buffon).
A plodding workers were such brilliant writers as: O. Balzak, L. Tolstoy, A. Dumas, V. Hugo, G. Flaubert, artists: Michelangelo, Van Gogh, P. Picasso, musicians: J. S. Bach, G.Verdi, L. Beethoven, I. Stravinsky, scientists: L. Pasteur, Ch. Darwin, I. Newton, inventors: Thomas Edison, N. Tesla.
Alexander Dumas was talking about himselfthe following : “Hands which wrote four hundred books – are hands of worker!” O. Balzac wrote “… I’m really working as a convict ” and Michelangelo declared: “No one is exhausting himself by a hard work so as I did. I don’t think about anything else but to work  night and day”.
Hard work can be treated as a lifelong learning, self-education and collecting material, and to persistent execution, achieving one’s goals and creative work. All fine original work represents severe intellectual labor, not necessarily at the moment of achievement, but in a preparatory collection and partial elaboration of material (J. Sully). “It is a huge mistake to suppose that my art has been easily acquired. I assure you that there is scarcely anyone that has so worked at the study of composition as I have”, – wrote Mozart. On the other hand it is refered to making a meticulous mental image of the idea, obstinate deliberation, bearing design and its embodiment (N. Tesla) or the achievement of results through trial and error (Thomas Edison).

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