Deconstructing Genius: A Conversation with Darrin McMahon
This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and intellectual historian Darrin McMahon, Dartmouth College. The word “genius” evokes great figures like Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Mozart but what quintessential quality unites these individuals? Can we measure it? Can we create it? This thoughtful conversation explores Darrin’s research on the evolution of genius from Plato to Einstein (which led him to write the book Divine Fury: A History of Genius) in an effort to illuminate what our evolving genius mythology reveals about the rest of us.
This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Something to Declare, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:
I. Opening Up Sightlines - The genius of intellectual history
II. The Equality Paradox - Some more equal than others?
III. Towards The Dark Side - The genius as rule-breaker
IV. Romantic Genius - Reinvented, suffering and zealous
V. Nature vs. Nurture - A threat to equality?
VI. Evil Genius - The other side of the coin
VII. Geniuses Everywhere - The superhuman condition?
VIII. The Future of Genius - Next steps
IX. Gradually Expanding - Genius as cultural phenomenon
X. The Science of Genius - Brainology and other tales
About Ideas Roadshow Conversations:
This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert through a focused yet informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks. For other books in this series visit our website (https://ideas-on-film.com/