Polanyi and Langer

Tradition and Discovery 36 (1):21-37 (2009)
This article is intended to advance a comprehensive understanding of knowing and meaning that is sensitive to biological and psychological evidence as well as to ethical and religious concerns. It proceeds by integrating Michael Polanyi’s theories of the evolutionary emergence of centered beings, tacit knowing, and the from-[via]-to structure of consciousness with a revised version of Susanne Langer’s theory of symbolization. The revision stresses the importance of signals in all human and other animal attunement to reality and argues for dividing Langer’s notion of presentational symbolism into a component shared by the more developed animals and one unique to humans. It details autonomic, receptor, learned tacit, and conceptual contributions to personal meaning
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