The purpose of this essay is to provide the historian with a generic understanding of the term economy by examining some aspects of the work of the Hungarian ?economic historian? Karl Polanyi (1886?1964). It does not seek to explain Polanyi's economic ideas to economists nor does it seek to locate his ideas within the discourses of the academic discipline of economics; there is abundant academic literature which carries out those tasks. This essay is intended to help fill a (...) void in the historical understanding, especially the modern historical understanding, of the term economy, and of how the characteristics associated with it are generally understood. Yet, in reality, it is the neoclassical paradigm of economics which is typically and uncritically taken to be the touchstone for understanding the economy. This circumstance is problematic, however, when referring to the economy of societies earlier than the late nineteenth century or of societies whose culture differs radically from that of the advanced capitalist ?west.? Polanyi's insights may help historians avoid the risk of either distorting or anachronistically misunderstanding the economy of such societies. (shrink)
These reflections on Andrew Grosso’s recent book Personal Being highlight his philosophical construction of a concept of personhood based on themes from the writings Of Michael Polanyi and his use of this conception to express creatively elements of the traditional Christian doctrines on the trinity. Additional clarifications are sought regarding his formulations on the divine personhood of Jesus, the adequacy of his formulations on the intra-trinitarian relations, and the insightfulness of the absolute personhood of the divine. This study is (...) a helpful model for extending Polanyian insights into the realm of dogmatic theology. (shrink)
This review discusses Weightman's interpretation of Torrance's appropriation of Polanyi's theory of science; Weightman shows how Torrance develops a contemporary “natural”theology, moving beyond Barthian roots, but he argues Torrance misconstrues Polanyi's understanding of “religion” and God. I support Weightman's account, acknowledging much of his argument regarding the nature of religion, but I question whether his constructivist view of God can support the role it must play in Polanyi's thought.
This article discusses the 2005 OUP biography of Michael Polanyi by William T. Scott and Martin X. Moleski S.J., Michael Polanyi, Scientist and Philosopher . The discussants are N. E. Wetherick, Brian G Gowenlock, and John Puddefoot; Martin X. Moleski, S. J. briefly responds, providing a previously unpulished letter from Polanyi to Reverend Dr. Knox, a Presbyterian mininster.
Current social and political theory is sceptical of the future of welfare states in the face of global markets. Their moral claims, too, have been challenged by the neo-liberal association of market capitalism and individual freedom and by an implicit acceptance of that critique - of the welfare state as bureaucratic - by left-wing commentators. This article offers a defence of the national welfare state as the guarantor of `complex freedom'. This defence is derived from the theoretical contributions of Marshall, (...)Polanyi and Myrdal and offers a reconsideration of the debate immediately after the second world war over the welfare state and its relevance today. Marshall's concept of social rights has become a familiar part of our own debate, but it is argued that Polanyi provides the rigorous critique of market relationships which is missing, and Myrdal locates gender issues as central to the understanding of welfare state development and women's rights as integral to social rights. (shrink)
The author’s doctoral dissertation on the theological implications of the epistemologies of John Henry Newman and Michael Polanyi operated on the assumption that Polanyi’s work was independent of Newman’s. That assumption was wrong. Polanyi read Newman’s Grammar of Assent twice and took at least five pages of notes on it; he also had a copy of the book in his personal library when he died. He mentioned his reading to a friend, but indicated that he could (...) not quote Newman because to do so would distort Newman’s meaning. The purpose of this essay is to defend the thesis that the similarities between the epistemologies are real and to speculate why diagramming the relationship between the two systems of thought was not a worthwhile project for Polanyi. (shrink)
Mitchell's formulation of the chemiosmotic theory of oxidative phosphorylation in 1961 lacked any experimental support for its three central postulates. The path by which Mitchell reached this theory is explored. A major factor was the role of Mitchell's philosophical system conceived in his student days at Cambridge. This system appears to have become a tacit influence on his work in the sense that Polanyi understood all knowledge to be generated by an interaction between tacit and explicit knowing. Early in (...) his life Mitchell had evolved a simple philosophy based on fluctoids, fluctids and statids which was developed in a thesis submitted for the Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, England. This aspect of his work was rejected by the examiners and became a tacit element in his intellectual development. It is argued from his various publications that this philosophy can be traced as an underlying theme behind much of Mitchell's theoretical writing in the 50's leading, through his notion of vectorial metabolism, to the formulation and amplification of the chemiosmotic theory in the sixties. This philosophy formed the basis for Mitchell of his understanding of biological systems and gave him his unique approach to cell biology. (shrink)
Polanyi’s philosophy requires a synthesis of ontology and epistemology through the resonances that structure personal knowing. Its convivial elements make it political; self-conscious circularity distances it from metaphysical realism; the paradox of self-set standards accomodates dissent. The roles of reality, knowledge and truth in metaphysical realism are better understood in terms of resonance, trust and worthwhileness if we follow Polanyi’s lead. This more humane vocabulary saves us from the tyrannies of the truths and realities others would impose upon (...) us. Polanyi points the way towards a position that avoids the worst of both absolutism and relativism. (shrink)
. Because of similarities between some implications of Michael Polanyi's theory of personal knowledge and intelligent design, claims have been made that his theory provides support to the project of intelligent design. This essay contends that, when Polanyi's reflections on a Ideological framework for contextualizing evolutionary biology are properly understood as a heuristic vision, his position contrasts sharply with the empirical claims made on behalf of intelligent design.
From unemployment to Brexit to climate change, capitalism is in trouble and ill-prepared to cope with the challenges of the coming decades. How did we get here? While contemporary economists and policymakers tend to ignore the political and social dimensions of capitalism, some of the great economists of the past - Adam Smith, Friedrich List, John Maynard Keynes, Joseph Schumpeter, Karl Polanyi and Albert Hirschman - did not make the same mistake. Leveraging their insights, sociologists John L. (...) Campbell and John A. Hall trace the historical development of capitalism as a social, political, and economic system throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. They draw comparisons across eras and around the globe to show that there is no inevitable logic of capitalism. Rather, capitalism's performance depends on the strength of nation-states, the social cohesion of capitalist societies, and the stability of the international system - three things that are in short supply today. (shrink)
In a 1936 lecture, Polanyi claimed too much for the efficacy of visual presentations of relations among economic things. His 1945 book, Full Employment and Free Trade was the last of his major publications in which he used many diagrams to illustrate his points. In that book, he stated his objective of trying to popularize the economic theory of John Maynard Keynes. But after 1945, he seems to have stopped trying to help people understand Keynesian theory, and in (...) Personal Knowledge, his only references to Keynes are criticisms of some of his ideas about probability and statistics. He later moved away from writing about the economy as an isolated system, towards treating it as just one of the four major aspects of society. (shrink)
Three recent interpreters of tacit knowledge, Harald Grimen, Harry Collins, and John McDowell, either deny it is appropriate to attribute knowledge of any sort to animals or ignore the relevance of the tacit knowledge of animals to human knowledge. In this article, we seek to show that in Michael Polanyi’s understanding, tacit knowledge in animals underlies and supports human explicit knowledge. For Polanyi, tacit knowledge arises in increasingly complex forms in evolutionary history, and explicit knowledge emerges from (...) it. Both forms of knowledge are personal achievements that can be true or false; animal behavior is not simply deterministic. Polanyi’s view on non-human tacit knowledge thus explains features of human knowledge that those denying or ignoring non-human knowledge leave unexplained. (shrink)
This review essay argues that the emphasis on the personal commitments sustaining all knowledge, while permitting some fruitful insights into structural parallels between Newman's and Polanyi’s epistemological positions, finally is not fully satisfactory for developing a theological program. Moleski’s effort to develop such theological insights may be advanced if it were supplemented by incorporating a more detailed structural analysis of the illative sense and of tacit knowing.
. This essay attempts to explore the senses in which religious meanings may be understood to be grounded ontologically and in which they may be validly accepted as true. It begins by outlining Wolfhart Pannenberg’s proposal for conceiving the scientific status of theology and his formulation of the question of theological truth. Then certain epistemological presuppositions are challenged in light of Michael Polanyi’s theory of knowledge. Finally a revised understanding is proposed in Polanyian terms. Here in their primordial sense (...) religious meanings are based in the act of breaking out toward the ground of our tacit foreknowledge. In their primary sense religious symbolizations are accepted as human creations and judged to be valid insofar as they integrate meaningfully all the disparate elements of our experience. (shrink)
John Searle's Making the Social World addresses a question that is as central to philosophy in general as it is to Social Ontology. It concerns the involvement of human beings in the creation of seemingly objective facts. The facts in which Searle is interested are ‘institutional’ facts. Such facts are objective; they are also, Searle argues, ‘created by human subjective attitudes’. It is my contention that this apparent paradox arises from a misconception of 'subjective' and 'objective'. For Searle, these (...) terms are synonymous with 'mind-dependent' and 'mindindependent'. Following the scientist and philosopher, Michael Polanyi, I argue that 'objectivity' is better understood as 'theoretical' and therefore worthy of universal recognition by rational agents. Being a matter of reason, objectivity contrasts, not with mind-dependence, but immediate experience. It follows that Searle's paradox is a function of the contradictory terms in which it is stated. (shrink)
Recent evolutionary interpretations of religion can be illuminating. However, by failing to take into account what Polanyi calls the “logic of achievement” they end up attributing to impersonal segments of DNA the personal striving that underlies religious existence.
. John V. Apczynski, while presenting a helpful analysis of Wolfhart Pannenberg and Michael Polanyi, does not succeed in showing that Pannenberg’s theology is incoherent. Contrary to Apczynski, I hold that Pannenberg’s concern for theoretic assertions is not extrinsic but intrinsic and central to his program. Moreover, this concern does not rest directly upon the cultural dominance of impersonal knowing but is a countering of the theological overreaction against it. Polanyi has pioneered the critique of impersonal knowledge, (...) but in Pannenberg’s judgment much theology tends to espouse too cheaply the Polanyian elevation of faith as ground of knowing. Pannenberg, while appreciating the relative justification of Polanyi’s work, is attempting to thematize afreshâin interesting contrast to Polanyi and, for instance, Paul Tillichâthe public, rational structure of faith. (shrink)
The project of chemistry to classify substances and develop techniques for their transformation into other substances rests on assumptions about the means by which compounds are constituted and reconstituted. Robert Boyle not only proposed empirical tests for a metaphysics of material corpuscules, but also a principle for designing experimental procedures in line with that metaphysics. Later chemists added activity concepts to the repertoire. The logic of activity explanations in modern times involves hierarchies of activity concepts, transitions between levels through non-dispositional (...) groundings. Such hierarchies terminate in powerful particulars, such as elementary charged particles. Do these have a fundamental place in the most recent accounts of molecular architecture, stabilities and transformations? However, a close study of the contemporary chemistry of substances transforming reactions discloses a hybrid metaphysics, making use of both the Boylean corpuscles and Faradayan fields. This is illustrated by an analysis of the metaphysics inherent in JohnPolanyi’s use of “chemoluminescence” to follow the formation of products in chemical reactions. A brief sketch of a resolution of the tension between the two metaphysical schemes is drawn from Niels Bohr’s radical metaphysics extended from the quantum realm proper to chemistry (and perhaps beyond). (shrink)
Since Michael Polanyi coined the term “tacit knowledge” in 1958, a huge amount of literature has been produced on this topic. Gascoigne and Thornton’s monograph represents one of the most recent attempts to clarify the concept of tacit knowledge.For other recent publications on tacit knowledge see Collins , Yu and Turner . In their engagement with various thinkers, most notably Polanyi, Ryle, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, John Searle, Hubert Dreyfus, and John McDowell, etc., the authors make impressive efforts (...) to situate the discussion of tacit knowledge in the context of mainstream philosophy. They shed new light on the concept of tacit knowledge by embedding it in contemporary debates, such as those on knowing how, rule-following, conceptualism, language maste .. (shrink)
Reflective practice is one of the most popular theories of professional knowledge in the last 20 years and has been widely adopted by nursing, health, and social care professions. The term was coined by Donald Schön in his influential books The Reflective Practitioner , and Educating the Reflective Practitioner , and has garnered the unprecedented attention of theorists and practitioners of professional education and practice. Reflective practice has been integrated into professional preparatory programmes, continuing education programmes, and by the regulatory (...) bodies of a wide range of health and social care professions. Yet, despite its popularity and widespread adoption, a problem frequently raised in the literature concerns the lack of conceptual clarity surrounding the term reflective practice. This paper seeks to respond to this problem by offering an analysis of the epistemology of reflective practice as revealed through a critical examination of philosophical influences within the theory. The aim is to discern philosophical underpinnings of reflective practice in order to advance increasingly coherent interpretations, and to consider the implications for conceptions of professional knowledge in professional life. The paper briefly examines major philosophical underpinnings in reflective practice to explicate central themes that inform the epistemological assumptions of the theory. The study draws on the work of Donald Schön, and on texts from four philosophers: John Dewey, Nelson Goodman, Michael Polanyi, and Gilbert Ryle. Five central epistemological themes in reflective practice are illuminated: (1) a broad critique of technical rationality; (2) professional practice knowledge as artistry; (3) constructivist assumptions in the theory; (4) the significance of tacit knowledge for professional practice knowledge; and (5) overcoming mind body dualism to recognize the knowledge revealed in intelligent action. The paper reveals that the theory of reflective practice is concerned with deep epistemological questions of significance to conceptions of knowledge in health and social care professions. (shrink)
The renowned philosopher John Searle reveals the fundamental nature of social reality. What kinds of things are money, property, governments, nations, marriages, cocktail parties, and football games? Searle explains the key role played by language in the creation, constitution, and maintenance of social reality. We make statements about social facts that are completely objective, for example: Barack Obama is President of the United States, the piece of paper in my hand is a twenty-dollar bill, I got married in London, (...) etc. And yet these facts only exist because we think they exist. How is it possible that we can have factual objective knowledge of a reality that is created by subjective opinions? This is part of a much larger question: How can we give an account of ourselves, with our peculiar human traits DS mind, reason, freedom, society - in a world that we know independently consists of mindless, meaningless particles? How can we account for our social and mental existence in a realm of brute physical facts? In answering this question, Searle avoids postulating different realms of being, a mental and a physical, or worse yet, a mental, a physical, and a social. There is just one reality: Searle shows how the human reality fits into that one reality. Mind, language, and civilization are natural products of the basic facts of the physical world described by physics, chemistry and biology. Searle explains how language creates and maintains the elaborate structures of human social institutions. These institutions serve to create and distribute power relations that are pervasive and often invisible. These power relations motivate human actions in a way that provides the glue that holds human civilization together. Searle shows how this account illuminates human rationality, free will, political power, and human rights. Our social world is a world created and maintained by language. (shrink)
This study provides a comprehensive reinterpretation of the meaning of Locke's political thought. John Dunn restores Locke's ideas to their exact context, and so stresses the historical question of what Locke in the Two Treatises of Government was intending to claim. By adopting this approach, he reveals the predominantly theological character of all Locke's thinking about politics and provides a convincing analysis of the development of Locke's thought. In a polemical concluding section, John Dunn argues that liberal and (...) Marxist interpretations of Locke's politics have failed to grasp his meaning. Locke emerges as not merely a contributor to the development of English constitutional thought, or as a reflector of socio-economic change in seventeenth-century England, but as essentially a Calvinist natural theologian. (shrink)
John Paul II proposes that 1 Cor. 9:24-27 includes sport among the human values and offers a paradigm to recognise ‘the fundamental validity of sport, considering it not just as a term of comparison to illustrate higher ethical and aesthetic ideal, but also in its intrinsic reality as a factor in the formation of man as a part of his culture and his civilization’. In this paper, I intend to follow John Paul II’s interpretation and moral reasoning in (...) order to demonstrate how 1 Cor. 9:24-27 can be used in Christian ethics as a paradigm for theological reflection on sport. (shrink)
At his death in 2010, the Anglo-American analytic philosopher John Haugeland left an unfinished manuscript summarizing his life-long engagement with Heidegger’s Being and Time. As illuminating as it is iconoclastic, Dasein Disclosed is not just Haugeland’s Heidegger—this sweeping reevaluation is a major contribution to philosophy in its own right.
An infinite lottery machine is used as a foil for testing the reach of inductive inference, since inferences concerning it require novel extensions of probability. Its use is defensible if there is some sense in which the lottery is physically possible, even if exotic physics is needed. I argue that exotic physics is needed and describe several proposals that fail and at least one that succeeds well enough.
E. S. de Beer>'s eight-volume edition of the correspondence of John Locke is a classic of modern scholarship. The intellectual range of the correspondence is universal, covering philosophy, theology, medicine, history, geography, economics, law, politics, travel and botany. This first volume covers the years 1650 to 1679.
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