Systematic innovation and social philosophy


Abstract
Corbett's “Europe and the Social Order”; makes two claims: that industrial societies are marked by “systematic innovation”; and that, as a consequence, our inherited social doctrines are obsolete and must be replaced. The first claim is true, but the second is false: it is not the case that social doctrines are “consistent”; only with certain kinds of social order: we cannot therefore say that innovating societies either preclude or compel any particular social doctrines. They do not invalidate a priori doctrine, though they undermine belief in it. It is therefore less important to attack such doctrine than to study innovation empirically.
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DOI 10.1080/00201746008601318
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