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Intentionality and complexity

Félix-Fernando Muñoz
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Félix-Fernando Muñoz

Chapter 33 in Elgar Encyclopedia on the Economics of Knowledge and Innovation, 2022, pp 271-276 from Edward Elgar Publishing

Abstract: Economies are complex evolving systems in which human intentionality is a novel feature which modifies - but does not supersede - the processes of novelty generation, selection and diffusion. Beliefs, goals, intentions, collective intentionality, etc. play a key role in the explanation of individual and collective behaviour; these categories of intentionality are at the base of agents action plans. New properties emerge because in a context of ignorance and radical uncertainty agents form new combinations or conjectures about the future state of affairs. Thus, they discover or invent new actions and/or new goals; and/or rearrange previously existing actions and goals in a new way. A by-product of interactive deployment of intended action is the generation of new knowledge. When emergent properties - such as innovation - are generated by interactions in product markets cum interactions in knowledge production, the outcome is usually beyond agents intentionality. However, the fact that unexpected consequences arise from the interaction of plans does not eliminate the fact that its origin was intentional.

Keywords: Business and Management; Economics and Finance; Innovations and Technology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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