Knowing the Unknowable: The Epistemological Authority of Innovation Policy Experts

Social Epistemology 25 (4):401 - 421 (2011)
Contemporary developed western economies are commonly referred to as ?knowledge-based? economies, which compete through drawing on the innovative and creative capacities of their local populations. Economic policy-makers must invest in and conserve the social, cultural and public resources that underpin dynamic and disruptive competitive activities, namely technological innovation and entrepreneurship, which bring new ideas and products to market. But these resources defy orthodox forms of economic knowledge and quantification. Their trajectories and outcomes are intrinsically uncertain. The paper draws on interviews with experts who advise governments on innovation and competitiveness, to understand what expert strategies are used to deal with this epistemological problem. Such experts must project and retain epistemological authority, but without lapsing too far into quantitative, economistic and bureaucratic forms of reason. The paper identifies three ways in which knowledge of the future can be validated, but without disguising uncertainty: it can be presented as practically useful; as aesthetically appealing; and as hinting at some ?ultimate? form of ontological knowledge
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/02691728.2011.605479
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,411
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Harold Silver (1999). Managing to Innovate in Higher Education. British Journal of Educational Studies 47 (2):145 - 156.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

25 ( #190,723 of 1,924,716 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #308,186 of 1,924,716 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.