Challenging Incommensurability: What We Can Learn from Ludwik Fleck for the Analysis of Configurational Innovation
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Minerva 49 (4):489-508 (2011)
This paper argues that Ludwik Fleck’s concepts of thought collectives and proto-ideas are surprisingly topical to tackle some conceptual challenges in analyzing contemporary innovation. The objective of this paper is twofold: First, it strives to establish Ludwik Fleck as an important classic on the map of innovation analysis. A systematic comparison with Thomas Kuhn’s work on paradigms, a concept highly influential in various branches of innovation studies, suggests a number of pronounced yet under-researched advantages of a Fleckian perspective in the context of technological change and innovation. Secondly, the paper links these advantages to some recent changes in the organization of innovation. Due to the rising pervasiveness of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), configurational innovation has become commonplace that cuts across the boundaries of established trajectories of knowledge generation. Fleck’s graded understanding of the closedness of thought collectives and his weak notion of incommensurability provide powerful metaphors to grasp the peculiarities of configurational innovation.
|Keywords||Thought style Paradigm Ludwik Fleck Configurational technology Innovation|
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References found in this work BETA
Ian Hacking (1983). Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science. Cambridge University Press.
Thomas S. Kuhn (1996/2012). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press.
Ludwik Fleck (1979). Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. University of Chicago Press.
Peter Galison & David J. Stump (eds.) (1996). The Disunity of Science: Boundaries, Contexts, and Power. Stanford University Press.
Thomas S. Kuhn (1982). Commensurability, Comparability, Communicability. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:669 - 688.
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