This essay reviews the philosophical roots and the devel-opment of the concept of creativity in the West and East. In particular, two conceptions of creativity that originated in the West – divinely inspired creativity and individual creativity—are discussed and compared to the two East-ern conceptions of creativity that are rooted in ancient Chinese philosophical thought — natural and individual creativity. Both Western and Eastern conceptions of indi-vidual creativity come from a theistic or cosmic tradition of either divinely inspired or natural creativity. However, a defining feature of the Western concept of creativity— novelty—is not necessarily embraced by ancient Chinese concepts of creativity, but does exist in both modern Eastern conceptions. Reasons for cultural differences are explored and discussed. The influence of culture on people's conceptions of creativity has been one of the most exciting topics in the recent literature on creativ-ity. It has attracted the interest of many psychologists (e.g., Lubart, 1999; Niu & Sternberg, 2002; Lau, Hui & Ng, 2004; Rudowicz & Hui, 1997; Rudowicz & Yue, 2000). A review of contemporary research has shown that people from the East and West hold similar, yet not identi-cal conceptions of creativity. In general, Easterners are more likely to view creativity as having social and moral values, and as making a con-nection between the new and the old. Their Western counterparts focus more on some special individual characteristics in understanding the concept of creativity (Niu & Sternberg, 2002).