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The Dilemmas of WonderlandDecisions in the Age of Innovation$
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Yakov Ben-Haim

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198822233

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198822233.001.0001

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Cultures of Innovation and Progress

Cultures of Innovation and Progress

(p.108) 6 Cultures of Innovation and Progress
The Dilemmas of Wonderland

Yakov Ben-Haim

Oxford University Press

Some innovations are revolutionary, while some are evolutionary and detected only in retrospect. The modes of innovation are numerous, but disputation—intellectual confrontation and verbal conflict between different attitudes, inclinations, or beliefs—is often central in initiating and adopting or rejecting an innovation. Innovations, like disputes, are often the work of individuals, and individualism plays a major role in innovation. Much effort is devoted to educating creative, innovative, individualistic citizens. Modern education emphasizes mastering knowledge, but also focuses on developing skills and propensities for discovering new truths and identifying old falsehoods. Education for independent thought characterizes innovative societies. However, seeking universal truths may entail a paradox that is removed only by limiting the universalism itself. Seeking universal truths engenders innovation dilemmas that encumber progress and introduce fragilities to innovative societies. Two examples illustrate this: the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and military geopolitical strategy.

Keywords:   innovation, innovation dilemma, individualism, education, innovative society, universal human rights, military strategy, uncertainty, info-gap, paradox of universalism

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