In the Mind's Eye: Visual Thinkers, Gifted People with Dyslexia and Other Learning Difficulties, Computer Images, and the Ironies of Creativity

By Thomas G. West | Go to book overview

4 Profiles, Part 1: Faraday, Maxwell, and Einstein

In this chapter and the two that follow, we profile eleven remarkable people: three physicists, two mathematicians, two inventors, an artist, a political leader, a military leader, and a poet. Most are well known. Others are not so well known outside of their specialist areas, but nonetheless are considered to be of similar stature because of the originality and magnitude of their contributions. Several profiles describe these persons in some depth. Other profiles are quite brief, simply focusing on one or two traits of special interest.

Each of the eleven is quite different from the others. All are seen as highly creative, although the nature of their creativity varies substantially. Most are strong visual thinkers, but others are less so. All but one show some form of the pattern of learning difficulties we have been discussing, although these are varied and range widely in severity. The profile of inventor Nikola Tesla has been included as a kind of counterpoint, primarily because of his extraordinary visualization abilities, although he appears to be almost entirely free of the more classic pattern of traits. This example also indicates that one need not always have the classic pattern of traits to have special gifts.

While it is believed that most of those portrayed in these profiles exhibit individual patterns of talents and weaknesses that are consistent with the general pattern, we are not interested in checking off and weighing the severity of each and every trait to develop individual scores--this may be

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