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Tradition and Innovation

  • In the ancient world immemorial customs were revered and novelty was abhorred; innovation was downplayed and rarely documented
  • In Medieval Europe chaos broke the taboo of respecting ancient customs and legitimized novelty
  • During the Renaissance the status of the discoverer and inventor was recognized
  • During the Industrial Age novelty was viewed as beneficial and even essential
  • In the Age of Consumerism the pace of innovation accelerated, and marketing targeted the feeling that novelty is beneficial for humans by changing products all the time
  • The original role of science was to test philosophical hypotheses, not to invent new technologies
  • But understanding the laws of nature revealed that we are not fully exploiting them: we can do more with them than evolution taught us
  • Science and marketing came together to boost innovation and ridicule tradition
Proof-edited by Alexander Altaras