Innovo : On the Vicissitudes and Varieties of a Concept
This chapter explains the vocabulary used to talk of innovation in the twentieth century, and compares the vocabulary of the previous centuries. The first and second episteme, documents the span from the Reformation to the nineteenth century, a period when innovation was most unwelcome. The third episteme is that of the twentieth century, precisely when innovation changes meaning and acquires its lettres de noblesse. The vocabulary of the modern episteme also consists of four words-imitation, invention, action and creativity. The chapter is devoted to and comparing the vocabulary of the epistemes and also covers whether and to what extent theoretical definitions of the twentieth century have resolved the debates of the previous centuries as to what innovation is. Revolution is innovation in a positive sense, and innovation is revolution. The few historical thoughts on theories of innovation-mostly banal references to history-neglect many writers and their contributions to the development of the idea of innovation.