Innovation Contested: The Idea of Innovation Over the Centuries, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Innovation Contested

The Idea of Innovation Over the Centuries, 1st Edition

By Benoît Godin


354 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415727204
pub: 2015-01-22
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315855608
pub: 2015-01-09
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Innovation is everywhere. In the world of goods (technology), but also in the world of words: innovation is discussed in the scientific and technical literature, but also in the social sciences and humanities. Innovation is also a central idea in the popular imaginary, in the media and in public policy. Innovation has become the emblem of the modern society and a panacea for resolving many problems.

Today, innovation is spontaneously understood as technological innovation because of its contribution to economic "progress". Yet for 2,500 years, innovation had nothing to do with economics in a positive sense. Innovation was pejorative and political. It was a contested idea in philosophy, religion, politics and social affairs. Innovation only got de-contested in the last century. This occurred gradually beginning after the French revolution. Innovation shifted from a vice to a virtue. Innovation became an instrument for achieving political and social goals.

In this book, Benoît Godin lucidly examines the representations and meaning(s) of innovation over time, its diverse uses, and the contexts in which the concept emerged and changed. This history is organized around three periods or episteme: the prohibition episteme, the instrument episteme, and the value episteme.

Table of Contents

Selected Contents: Introduction Part 1: The Emergence of a Concept 1. Kainotomia and Conceptual Innovation in Ancient Greece2. Innovo: On the Vicissitudes and Varieties of a Concept3. Innovation, or, How to Stabilize a Changing World Part 2. Use of the Concept: The Prohibition Episteme 4. ‘Meddle Not With Them That Are Given to Change’: Innovation as Evil5. Republicanism as Innovation … or Not Innovation6. Social Innovation: From Scheme to Utopia Part 3. Transformation of the Concept: The Instrument Episteme 7. Re-imagining Innovation: A Semantic Rehabilitation8. Innovation Transformed: From Word to Concept9. When Science Had Nothing to Do with Innovation, and Vice-Versa Part 4. Diffusion of the Concept: The Value Episteme 10. The Vocabularyof Innovation: A Lexicon11. Appropriating Innovation: For What Purpose?12. "Innovation Studies": The Invention of a Specialty. Conclusion. Appendices. Sources and References. Index

About the Author

Benoît Godin is a professor at INRS in Montreal, Canada. He holds a Dphil in science policy from Sussex (UK) University and has written extensively on science policy, research evaluation and science indicators.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought

This series explores core issues in political philosophy and social theory. Addressing theoretical subjects of both historical and contemporary relevance, the series has broad appeal across the social sciences. Contributions include new studies of major thinkers, key debates and critical concepts.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General
SCIENCE / Philosophy & Social Aspects