Responsible Innovation. For some, this expression is only an oxymoron or, worse, a means of masking with a sheet of virtue economic practices that would otherwise appear selfish and self-interested. For others, theorists and actors of innovation, this expression represents a formidable lever of action and a rich conceptual source from which to draw new ways of innovating.
The articulation between different levels of norms – economic and ethical, to which we can add the legal dimension – is not new, and is the subject of an in-depth reflection, decades old, around the idea of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). By taking up some debates on CSR, most of which are foreign to the current authors of responsible innovation, this book examines the various justifications that CSR brings in order to convince economic players, subject to powerful market forces, of their responsible commitment. But these are not enough. The book also explores the specific contribution of the concept of responsible innovation to coping with the technological, social and political breakthroughs generated by innovation, and is based on philosophical resources such as the ethics of virtue and the ethics of “care”.