Some Implications Of The Political Aspects Of Personal Knowledge

Tradition and Discovery 34 (3):8-17 (2007)
The political passages in Polanyi’s Personal Knowledge are an integral part of his arguments against ‘objectivism’ and/or a post-critical, personalist, fiduciary and fallibilist philosophy. This paper elaboratesthe social and political implications of Polanyi’s emphasis upon acceptance of one’s situation and the exercise in it of a sense of responsibility to transcendent ideals, as against attempts to start with a clean slate, to overcome all imperfections and to find some simple rule for political policy. Prescriptive duties and rights, and mutual trust and solidarity, are the bases of politics, anti responsible action must start with them. But much of modern politics expresses a Gnostic impatience of our created and finite existence which results in arbitrary commitment to some radical and destructive ideology
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