“Combinatorics doesn’t replace productive imagination only, but is superior to it!”
So creativity included for Ostwald not only â€œproductive imaginationâ€ but also â€œcombinatoricsâ€. From his view ideas and discoveries are often only â€œa novel combination of existing componentsâ€. Newly-discovered facts in scientific research also has to be combined with diverse existing facts to create new insights. His idea on creativity corresponds with modern views concerning an alternative exposure to copyright and intellectual property within the â€œCreative Commonsâ€ licences: â€œShare, reuse, and remix – legalâ€ (http://creativecommons.org).
Wilhelm Ostwald (1929). Combinatorics and productive imagination (Kombinatorik und schaffende Phantasie. In: Forschen und Nutzen: Wilhelm Ostwald zur wissenschaftlichen Arbeit (pp. 28-30). Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1978.