Tradition and Discovery 43 (3):14-25 (2017)

This essay contrasts Michael Polanyi’s insight regarding contact with reality to the idea of direct contact theory that Hubert Dreyfus and Charles Taylor develop in their recent effort to “retrieve” realism. Whereas the latter locates a “direct” contact “beneath” articulation in a preconceptual layer “accessible only by phenomenology,” Polanyi locates contact in discovery—not beneath, but rather beyond, our efforts to know. It is also apparent that the authors of Retrieving Realism presume an epistemology less sophisticated than Polanyi’s subsidiary-focal integration, as well as omitting the critical epistemic component of commitment. The essay concludes that Polanyi offers the superior challenge to “the picture that held us captive”—Cartesian epistemology with its resultant anti-realism, one which additionally unleashes a lively, surprising real to its proper primacy.
Keywords Major Philosophers  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 1057-1027
DOI 10.5840/traddisc201743321
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