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Rafael Ziegler

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Innovation, Ethics and our Common Futures

A Collaborative Philosophy

Rafael Ziegler

The important yet contradictory role of innovation in society calls for a philosophy of innovation. Critically exploring innovation in relation to values, the economy and social change, Rafael Ziegler proposes a collaborative theory and practice of innovation that aims to liberate possibilities for our common futures.
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Rafael Ziegler

This chapter has two goals: (1) to revisit the insights from innovation as a collaborative concept, in particular the evaluative insights from philosophy for critically thinking about innovation; (2) to develop the idea of a nature-respecting sufficiency for a transformative approach to innovation. This approach, here called enough innovation, will be discussed also in relation to strategies for practically advancing a critical and comprehensive innovation policy. Section 6.1 sets out a critical innovation vocabulary and the way this is linked and enforced by the idea of a collaborative pluralism of the economy. Section 6.2 takes stock of preceding chapters and their lessons for nature-respecting sufficiency and innovation. Section 6.3 moves to strategies for enough innovation. Section 6.4 concludes.

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Rafael Ziegler

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Rafael Ziegler

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Rafael Ziegler

There is a growing dissatisfaction with innovation. There is a rise of adjectives, qualifying innovation in evaluative terms: free, frugal, responsible, social, sustainable to name a few. Does innovation have to be qualified so as to be rescued? Is more radical thinking required: less innovation, exnovation, no innovation? Section 1.1 begins with preliminary remarks on the relation between philosophy and innovation. Section 1.2 proposes a collaborative concept framework for the study of innovation. Critically drawing from a conceptual proposal used in innovation research, essentially contested concepts, this section identifies the main features of a collaborative concept framework. Section 1.3 returns to the evaluative aspect and provides a first outline of the normative starting point taken in this book, nature-respecting sufficiency: of a life in dignity for all, of enough for all and with respect for all.

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Rafael Ziegler

This chapter offers a survey of literatures about innovation in the market, in politics and in civil society. The survey seeks to avoid a frequent bias in concept information that takes one domain, typically technical products for business innovation, as the exclusive or tacitly assumed ‘habitat’ of innovation; thereby marginalizing or even ignoring other innovation spaces, trajectories and the synergies between these. The goal is to critically appreciate and learn from these various approaches. The internally complex and variously describable structure of innovation as a collaborative concept emerges via discussions of democratic and grassroots innovation in politics and civil society in contrast to the older economic innovation studies in markets. This includes different accounts of and references to novelty, as well as to the evaluative aspect of innovation: who is involved, and with what evaluative presuppositions and implications?

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Rafael Ziegler

This chapter turns to innovation in the most widely discussed conception of justice in the post-war period: John Rawls’ theory of justice. It scrutinizes the way innovation and entrepreneurship appear as a black box in Rawls’ theory. Section 3.1 introduces Rawls’ theory. Section 3.2 turns to Rawls’ first (liberty) principle of justice in relation to the freedom to tinker. Sections 3.3 to 3.5 turn to Rawls’ second principle and his idea of a difference principle for distributive justice. Drawing from work on innovation and political economy, Section 3.4 explores two just contribution arguments concerning the rewards of the state for its investment in the innovation process and in justice-enabling conditions. Section 3.5 further examines the role of the ‘active state’ with a view to the primary distributive justice focus proposed by Rawls: the least advantaged.

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Rafael Ziegler

This chapter weaves ideas of communitarianism and the capabilities approach into a discussion of collaborative pluralism. It draws on a typology of modes of provision, that is, the plural ways in which a service or good is provided to users and beneficiaries. The typology provides a tool for analysing innovations and their reconfigurations beyond the market/non-market dichotomy and thus offers an alternative to market reductionism. Section 4.1 turns to the communitarian critique of liberalism and its implication for thinking about innovation. Section 4.2 introduces the typology of modes of provision as developed by philosophers working at the intersection of philosophy of economics and the capabilities approach. Based on this, Section 4.3 distinguishes simple, complex and collaborative forms of pluralism and Section 4.4 examines four arguments for collaborative pluralism.

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Rafael Ziegler

This chapter focuses on freedom, power and innovation. Whereas the civic republican strand is mainly inspired by a focus on domination and freedom in politics, the Marxist strand takes human flourishing and domination in the economy. This chapter explores these influential discussions of domination and emancipation in relation to innovation. Section 5.1 starts with a brief excursion into seventeenth-century republicanism, its emancipatory goals and the early (pejorative) use of innovation in this context. Section 5.2 moves to a discussion of the civic republican idea of freedom as non-domination and explores this in relation to innovation in markets, civil society, politics and across these spheres. Section 5.3 turns to Marxism and the orthodox Marxist account of domination as part of a more general emancipatory view of class struggle in history. Section 5.4 turns to a recent, socialist account: real utopias and the democratization of the economy.