Worldgenetic Theories of Genius

World-centred Approach to Genius

The world-centred approach reveals the essential criteria of genius proceeding from qualitatively specific laws and features of its manifestation in relatively independent phenomenological worlds in unique, autonomous spheres of reality.

The main criteria of genius

In the world-centered approach, theories of genius are defined by the essential characteristics of qualitatively defined autonomous spheres – phenomenological worlds – possessing their specific laws.
Each of the worlds is an independent ontology, a peculiar form of being, with its own space-time and materiality, with its own elements, links and structures, with its own peculiar rules of interaction, laws, values and meanings. None of the worlds are reducible to each other or to some more fundamental reality but are seen as a separate and independent way of being in the world. “Here culture appears as a special universe of human existence, as a human-dimensional ontology that absorbs a multitude of human ontologies” (V.I.Moiseyev).

The relationship between the worlds can be topologically represented in the form of an initial pentabasis, including the object, symbolic, social and internal worlds, as well as the world of culture, which integrates their highest manifestations. Each of these worlds has its own laws of structure, functioning and development. The criteria of genius proposed by D. Simonton and V. Cassandro fit organically into this matrix.
The authors  believe that attempts to identify and define creative genius usually rely on a number of interrelated categories:
– productivity;
– eminence;
– intelligence;
– cognitive style (creativity);
– personality and biography.

In turn, the world-centered approach reveals the essential criteria of genius based on qualitatively specific features of its manifestation in relatively independent phenomenological worlds of reality. These theories can be represented as a matrix and superimposed on an isomorphic Pentabasis representing the configuration of interconnected and autonomous worlds:

Table 7: Basic criteria and Worldgenetic theories of genius

Symbolic World
Transformative theory
Social World
Charismatic theory
Cognitive style
Cultural-creative theory
Object World
Activity theory
Inner World
Personological theory


1. Personological (from Lat. Persona – personality, person) theory of genius defines a genius as the top of evolution and the crown of creation, as an original, unique identity, as a self-sufficient personality having an extraordinary development, and a specific combination of integrated components as intelligence, traits, motivation and productivity.
2. Charismatic theory (from the Greek charisma – charity, gift, and grace) states that the essential feature of a genius is his magical gift of influence, spiritual charm, hypnotic power of domination, and the ability to inspire, fascinate and lead people.
3. Shape-forming and transformative theory say that the essence of genius lies in formative power and in the form-creative power of a genius, in his ability to pacify chaos, to create new symbolic systems, artificial languages, art tools and techniques, and also to operate symbols, to shape raw material and transform the available content in a more perfect one.
3.1. The game theory of genius claims that the creative process of a genius is free from any everyday life bonds, a spontaneous and enjoyable game with shapes, symbols and meanings. It is based on a symbolic representation of reality, which opens up the possibility of a special, creative interaction with the world.
4. Activity theory considers the essence of genius from the point of view of a creative product produced by a genius. It focuses on the importance of this product, its amount, and its influence on its contemporaries and successors and on its contribution to the socio-cultural evolution of mankind. According to R. Albert, the author of the behavioural theory, a genius is a man who for a long period of time is doing a huge amount of work having a significant impact on other people for many years.
5. Cultural-creative theory directly links genius and creativity, which is the deep true nature of a genius, the substantial way of his existence and implementation. In turn, creativity is the very essence of a genius, in which it reaches its highest and perfect level of manifestation.
5.1. The theory of a universal creative method asserts that the essence effective kernel of genius is a holistic, dynamic system of techniques, based on realizing universal pairs of opposites, but mutually complementary mechanisms of creativity, which, in turn, reflect the deepest structures, laws and trends of existence and development of the world.