Negative Capability

John Keats- in a letter to his brother 1817

I had not a dispute but a disquisition with Dilke on various subjects; several things dovetailed in my mind, and it at once struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement….. I mean Negative Capability, that is when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.

NG was taken up by Wilfred Bion and me, following Bion. I used it to illuminate Michael Faraday‘s scientific creativity – see my emotional education webpages or the first paper I had published way back in 1985, a chapter in Faraday Rediscovered [edited by David Gooding and Frank James].

Robert French has written a good paper on negative capability and leadership

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