Chapter 34: Intentionality and innovation
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Human action is purposeful action. Economic agents (individuals, firms, organisations) formulate action plans defined as the projective linkage of actions (means) to goals (ends). Contrary to Robbins, ends are not necessarily given; in fact, in a context of ignorance and radical uncertainty, economic agents imagine and experiment with new goals and courses of action that they project into the future. Intentionality is that property of the mind by which it is directed at objects and states of the world that have been imagined and deemed possible. Among the different goals of action some of them might be "to be innovative," that is, to try to introduce into economic reality new combinations, something previously unheard-of. Innovation is a process, an emerging property that result from the interactive deployment of agents action plans that contain the purpose of being innovative. Both the new growth theory and the evolutionary branch inaugurated by Nelson and Winter are not able to include intentionality. However, this is not the case with most of the classics: the demand-pull approach (Smith-Kaldor-Schmookler), the induced innovation (Hicks, Jaffe, Acemoglu) and, of course, Schumpeter - with the notions of rivalry and creative response. Classic approaches usually incorporate time, the intentional dimension of action, and the (true) evolving nature of the economy - concepts that mainstream economics lack.

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