Abstract In this chapter, we challenge the presupposed concept of innovation
in the responsible innovation literature. As a first step, we raise several questions
with regard to the possibility of ‘responsible’ innovation and point at several difficulties
which undermine the supposedly responsible character of innovation
processes, based on an analysis of the input, throughput and output of innovation
processes. It becomes clear that the practical applicability of the concept of
responsible innovation is highly problematic and that a more thorough inquiry of
the concept is required. As a second step, we analyze the concept of innovation
which is self-evidently presupposed in current literature on responsible innovation.
It becomes clear that innovation is self-evidently seen as (1) technological innovation,
(2) is primarily perceived from an economic perspective, (3) is inherently
good and (4) presupposes a symmetry between moral agents and moral addressees.
By challenging this narrow and uncritical concept of innovation, we contribute
to a second round of theorizing about the concept and provide a research
agenda for future research in order to enhance a less naïve concept of responsible