As the foundation of our modern world, innovation has generated a
seemingly endless ocean of new products, new processes, new
thoughts, and new ways of doing things. Every day, we enhance our
innovation and its effects and we advance, accomplish and
constantly seek even more Generally, we tend to live well based on
our innovation outputs. This suggests that we think we know what we
are doing, and that we know where we are headed. We do know what
were doing, dont we? Most would say: yes, we do; indeed, we are
inclined to be certain of it. But: can we be certain about what we
know about innovation? To address this question, we search for
evidence of any useful outputs of the work of philosophy. Such
outputs should help us better understand if we can, indeed, be
certain about what we do, and where we are going. Is there any
evidence of this? Alas philosophy is nowhere to be found As a tool
of rigorous reflection and understanding, even where some of the
most exciting and forward-looking innovation enterprise in science,
engineering and organizational structuring takes place, philosophy
seems to have vanished if it was ever there in the first place.
Today, this seems somehow normal, and quite all right. But is it?
Of course, we are aware that our history of philosophy illuminates
the earlier pathways we once followed to achieve our modernity, and
that is fine; but, where is philosophy and its work today? Where
has philosophy gone? In this book we explore these questions, and
more: why is philosophy vanishing, or even entirely absent from our
world today? What has happened? If, at one time, philosophy was so
very important, why would it no longer be much in evidence, if it
is there at all? Where is the work of philosophy today as we push
forward with innovation in our astonishing, leading-edge realms? Do
we really understand what we are doing? Do we have any idea where
we are going? And, most chillingly, regardless of the answers does
it matter? The claim is made in this book that the disappearance of
philosophy does matter, and alarm bells ought to be ringing. Why?
Because the work of philosophy, work we seem to have forgotten, is
essential for us to know where we are going. If we are truly
serious about surviving and thriving, especially by being so
innovative in so many spectacular and challenging ways, we cannot
afford to have philosophy and its works disappear and then be
forgotten. Said plainly, we cannot deny and then lose the maps and
compass of philosophy applied to the challenges of today and
tomorrow. If we do, we lose any reason for any journey, anywhere.
And, more broadly, we are in danger of losing reason generally. To
continue denying philosophy and then, in the end, to deny that very
denial is a move with no hope of benefit. But, the lack of evidence
for the work of philosophy indicates that move is underway. We are
destroying any useful link between innovation and philosophy. In so
doing, we are seriously reducing the value of innovation (no matter
how wonderful we think it might be) while blindly forgetting the
critical importance of philosophy and its work. This move will
guarantee that the path to our future will be fraught with
unnecessary hardship and difficulty, and then, if it is permanent,
will deal a fatal blow. If we truly wish to thrive and persevere,
we are compelled to avoid the fatal error of philosophical denial.
To do so, we must rediscover, revitalize and apply anew the
rigorous work of philosophy to innovation in our modern era.
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