Anatomy of the Unsought Finding. Serendipity: Orgin, History, Domains, Traditions, Appearances, Patterns and Programmability

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (2):631-648 (1994)
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Abstract

I define serendipity as the art of making an unsought finding. And I propose an overview of my collection of serendipities, the largest yet assembled, chiefly in science and technology, but also in art, by giving a list of ‘serendipity patterns’. Although my list of ‘patterns’ is just a list and not a classification, it serves to introduce a new and possibly stimulating perspective on the old subject of serendipity. Knowledge of these ‘serendipity patterns’ might help in expecting also the unexpected and in finding also the unsought.

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