Essays on Economic Change and its Theory
Chapter 7: Propositions about novelty
The emergence of novelty is a ubiquitous feature in science, technology, and economic life. It is the most crucial input to the growth of human knowledge. At the same time, novelty is one of the most amorphous concepts in scientific thought. Theorizing about novelty and its emergence faces notorious problems. This paper explores why this is so and what can be done to deal in a more systematic fashion with novelty. The notion of degrees of novelty is introduced, and its relationship with the concept of uncertainty is discussed. The result of the inquiry are summarized by a number of hypotheses.
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