How do Dutch people let each other know that they disagree? What do they say when they want to resolve their difference of opinion by way of an argumentative discussion? In what way do they convey that they are convinced by each other’s argumentation? How do they criticize each other’s argumentative moves? Which words and expressions do they use in these endeavors? By answering these questions this short essay provides a brief inventory of the language of argumentation in Dutch.
Normative pragmatics can bridge the differences between dialectical and rhetorical theories in a way that saves the central insights of both. Normative pragmatics calls attention to how the manifest strategic design of a message produces interpretive effects and interactional consequences. Argumentative analysis of messages should begin with the manifest persuasive rationale they communicate. But not all persuasive inducements should be treated as arguments. Arguments express with a special pragmatic force propositions where those propositions stand in particular inferential relations to one (...) another. Normative pragmatics provides a framework within which varieties of propositional inference and pragmatic force may be kept straight. Normative pragmatics conceptualizes argumentative effectiveness in a way that integrates notions of rhetorical strategy and rhetorical situation with dialectical norms and procedures for reasonable deliberation. Strategic effectiveness should be seen in terms of maximizing the chances that claims and arguments will be reasonably evaluated, whether or not they are accepted. Procedural rationality should be seen in terms of adjustment to the demands of concrete circumstances. Two types of adjustment are illustrated: rhetorical strategies for framing the conditions for dialectical deliberation and rhetorical strategies for making do with limitations to dialectical deliberation. (shrink)
Speech act theory seems to provide a promising avenue for the analysis of the functional organization of argument. The theory, however, might be taken to suggest that arguments are a homogenous class of speech act with a specifiable illocutionary force and a single set of felicity conditions. This suggestion confuses the analysis of the meaning of speech act verbs with the analysis of the pragmatic structure of actual language use. Suggesting that arguments are conveyed through a homogeneous class of linguistic (...) action overlooks the way in which the context of activity and the form of expression organize the argumentative functions performed in using language. An alternative speech act analysis would treat folk terminology as a heuristic entry point into the development of a technical analysis of the myriad argumentative functions and structures to be found in natural language use. This would lead to a thorough-going pragmatic analysis of the rational and functional design of speech acts in argumentation. (shrink)
Kuhn and Feyerabend have little to say about the thought of Michael Polanyi, and the secondary literature on Polanyi's relation to them is meagre. I argue that Polanyi's view, in Personal knowledge and in other writings, of conceptual frameworks ‘segregated’ by a ‘logical gap’ as giving rise to controversies in science foreshadowed Kuhn and Feyerabend's theme of incommensurability. The similarity between the thinkers is, I suggest, no coincidence.
The traditional concepts of rhetorical strategy and argumentative fallacy cannot be readily reconciled. Doing so requires escaping the following argument: All argumentation involves rhetorical strategies. All rhetorical strategies are violations of logical or dialectical ideals. All violations of logical or dialectical ideals are fallacies. Normative pragmatics provides a perspective in which rhetorical strategies can be seen to have the potential for constructive contributions to argumentation and in which fallacies are not simply violations of ideals. One kind of constructive contribution, framing (...) moves, is illustrated with the case of Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 TV campaign commercial known as the Daisy ad. (shrink)
A study of the development of Mill's thought through successive editions of _A System of Logic. His view of the genesis of most scientific laws, it is argued, progressively shifted from inductivism to hypothetico-deductivism. Mill's analysis of hypotheses and of methods for their assessment is considered in detail. New light is shed on relations between Mill's metascience and that of William Whewell.
Digressions in argumentative discussion are a kind of failure of relevance. Examination of what actual cases look like reveals several properties of argumentative relevance: (1) The informational relevance of propositions to the truth value of a conclusion should be distinguished from the pragmatic relevance of argumentative acts to the task of resolving a disagreement. (2) Pragmatic irrelevance is a collaborative phenomenon. It does not just short-circuit reasoning; it encourages a failure to take up the demands of an argumentative task. (3) (...) Pragmatic irrelevance can occur not simply by the absence of a connection between what is said and some standpoint in dispute, but also by the presence of a connection between what is said and a competing use of the information. (4) Pragmatic relevance must be accomplished through communicative action. (shrink)
The article argues that Polanyi was a likely source of influence on the theory of science that Kuhn developed in his The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. The striking similarity between Kuhn’s idea ofincommuensurability and Polanyi’s rendering of scientific controversy in Personal Knowledge is featured here, and is used to expose a tension between Polanyi's notions of scientific controversy and unfolding truth.
Michael Polanyi argues in Personal Knowledge (1958) that conceptual frameworks involved in major scientific controversies are separated by a `logical gap'. Such frameworks, according to Polanyi (1958: 151), are logically disconnected: their protagonists think differently, use different languages and occupy different worlds. Relinquishing one framework and adopting another, Polanyi's scientist undergoes a `conversion' to a new `faith'. Polanyi, in other words, presaged Kuhn and Feyerabend's concept of incommensurability. To what influences was Polanyi subject as he developed his concept of the (...) logical gap? The answer, as unfolded in this article, is twofold: Evans-Pritchard's Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande and the Confessions of St Augustine. (shrink)
In 1948 Karl Popper sent a copy of his paper, ‘Utopia and Violence’, to Michael Oakeshott. Popper had recently read Oakeshott’s essay ‘Rationalism in Politics’, appreciating its relevance to views he had expressed in The Open Society. Oakeshott wrote to Popper at some length, explaining his thoughts about reason, tradition and kindred matters, to which Popper responded. This paper reproduces these letters and discusses them with reference to pertinent writings of Popper and Oakeshott. While showing there was much common ground (...) between the two men and that they significantly influenced each other, the writings reveal important differences over the role of reason and tradition in social and political life. (shrink)
Despite the burgeoning literature on professionalism in other health professions, psychology lags behind in the level of attention given to this core competency. In this article, we review definitions from other health professions and how they address professionalism. Next, we review how this competency evolved within health service psychology, and we propose a definition. We offer an approach for assessing professionalism within HSP. Consideration is given to strategies and methods for providing effective education and training in this multifaceted competency. Finally, (...) recommendations are made for creating a culture of professionalism within HSP and honoring psychology’s social contract with multiple publics. (shrink)
Michael Polanyi and Karl Popper offer contrasting accounts of social tradition. Popper is steeped in the heritage of the Enlightenment, while Polanyi interweaves religious and diverse secular strands of thought. Explaining the liberal tradition, Polanyi features tacit knowledge of rules, standards, applications and interpretations being transmitted by “craftsmen” to “apprentices.” Each generation adopts the liberal tradition on “faith,” commits to creatively developing its art of knowledge-in-practice, and is drawn to the spiritual reality of ideal ends. Of particular interest to Popper (...) is the rationality of social traditions. Likened by him to scientific theories, Popper’s traditions are criticizable and improvable, assisting agents to understand, and act in, the world as stable and predictable. Polanyi’s is the more informative rendering of tradition. Polanyi delves deeply into important areas where Popper only scratches their surface: the tacit dimension, transmission by way of apprenticeship, the meaning of tradition for those who participate in it, and the extent of its authority over them. (shrink)
It is a testimony to the enduring importance of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions that, 30 years on, its doctrines of normal science and paradigm, incommensurability and revolution continue to challenge metascien tists and stimulate vigorous debate. Critique has mainly come from philosophers and historians; by and large, interested sociologists have embraced Kuhn. Un justifiably so, this article argues, bringing to light a serious difficulty or "anom aly" in his account of the social side of science. Contrary to (...) what he claims, scientific knowledge is not the achievement of organic communities. It is con structed in "trans-epistemic arenas" by diverse participants, laypeople, and specialists. Accepting "community" is a flawed concept in the sociology of science, and in appreciating the major role Kuhn assigned it, the Kuhnian system looks less robust than it did before. (shrink)
This paper compares Hayek and Polanyi on spontaneous social order. Although Hayek is widely believed to have first both coined the name and explicated the idea of ?spontaneous order?, it is in fact Michael Polanyi who did so. Numerous differences emerge between the two thinkers. The characterisation of spontaneous order in Hayek, for example, involves different types of freedom to those advanced by Polanyi. Whereas Hayek (usually) portrays spontaneous order as a single entity, which is equivalent to free society as (...) a whole ? the free?catallactic society ? Polanyi by contrast is disposed to conceive of spontaneous orders as sub?units or components within free society as a whole. These and other aspects of their thought ? including the distinction between spontaneous and planned social orders ? are reviewed and criticised. (shrink)
Locke scholars continue to disagree over how he analyzed natural laws, real essence-power relations in physical substances. Some say he regarded them as emanations, necessitated by the corpuscular structure of real essences; for others his laws are adventitious, imposed on substances by God and contingent on divine alterable will. The second view has been increasingly favored in recent years, assisted no doubt by Edwin McCann's potent case for it in "Lockean Mechanism" (1985). The present article, whose authors are sympathetic to (...) the necessitarian reading of Locke, argues against McCann's exegesis. (shrink)
This article discusses the hitherto little-studied question of women workers’ empowerment through access to labor rights in the east African export horticultural sector. It is based on the work carried out by Women Working Worldwide and its east African partners, drawing on primary research on cut-flower farms in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. The focus in discussions of women’s empowerment has tended to be on individual actors rather than collective strategies. We argue that strategies such as action research, education, organization and (...) advocacy focusing on labor rights are effective in gendered empowerment and can bring positive change to women’s working lives on African farms, and beyond. (shrink)
In his writings between 1941 and 1951, Michael Polanyi developed a distinctive view of liberal social and political life. Planned organizations are a part of all modern societies, according to Polanyi, but in liberal modernity he highlighted dynamic social orders whose agents freely adjust their efforts in light of the initiatives and accomplishments of their peers. Liberal society itself is the most extensive of dynamic orders, with the market economy, and cultural orders of scientific research, Protestant religious inquiry, and common (...) law among its constituents. Liberal society and its dynamic orders of culture are, Polanyi explained, directed at transcendent ideals . He saw knowledge, rules of practice, and standards of value in these orders as being preserved in traditions that inform and constrain the initiatives of their members. Investing faith in a cultural enterprise, Polanyi's agents choose to act responsibly, dedicating their freedom to an ideal end. They are custodians and cultivators of the heritage of their dynamic order. (shrink)
This essay reviews historical records that set forth the discussions and interaction of Michael Polanyi and Karl Mannheim/rom 1944 until Mannheim’s death early in 1947. The letters describe Polanyi’s effort to assemble a book to be published in a series edited by Manneheim. Theyalso reveal the different perspectives these thinkers took about freedom and the historical context of ideas. Records of J.H. Oldham’s discussion group “the Moot” suggest that these and other differences in philosophy were debated in meetings of “the (...) Moot” attended by Polanyi and Mannheim in 1944. (shrink)
Celebrated as a theorist of science, and a source of stimulating ideas for theologians and philosophers of religion, Michael Polanyi explicitly denied cognitive relativism. Yet cognitive relativism, this paper suggests, is implied by Polanyi's account of conceptual frameworks and intellectual controversies.In ‘The Stability of Beliefs’ Polanyi understands conceptual frameworks as embedded in, and as expressed in the use of, their own languages. The language‐with‐theory limits the range of discussable subjects, interprets relevant facts in its own terms, permits only certain questions (...) to be asked, with answers to these questions serving to confirm the framework.In Polanyi's masterwork, Personal Knowledge , these ideas inform his discussion of controversies over scientific frameworks and frameworks vying to become part of science. In each controversy, frameworks are logically disconnected, Polanyi foreshadowing the incommensurability thesisI argue that Polanyi's ideas satisfy recognised criteria of cognitive relativism. Perception is undetermined by objects and conditioned by language. Empirical propositions, in Polanyi's view, are accepted as true only within a conceptual framework. Polanyi regards supporters of logically disconnected frameworks as thinking differently, living in different worlds, speaking different languages and as experiencing communication failure. There is no framework‐independent argument or evidence to distinguish any framework as the best available approximation to the truth. Frameworks are logically disconnected and incommensurable. (shrink)
Celebrated as a theorist of science, and a source of stimulating ideas for theologians and philosophers of religion, Michael Polanyi explicitly denied cognitive relativism. Yet cognitive relativism, this paper suggests, is implied by Polanyi's account of conceptual frameworks and intellectual controversies.In ‘The Stability of Beliefs’ Polanyi understands conceptual frameworks as embedded in, and as expressed in the use of, their own languages. The language‐with‐theory limits the range of discussable subjects, interprets relevant facts in its own terms, permits only certain questions (...) to be asked, with answers to these questions serving to confirm the framework.In Polanyi's masterwork, Personal Knowledge, these ideas inform his discussion of controversies over scientific frameworks and frameworks vying to become part of science. In each controversy, frameworks are logically disconnected, Polanyi foreshadowing the incommensurability thesisI argue that Polanyi's ideas satisfy recognised criteria of cognitive relativism. Perception is undetermined by objects and conditioned by language. Empirical propositions, in Polanyi's view, are accepted as true only within a conceptual framework. Polanyi regards supporters of logically disconnected frameworks as thinking differently, living in different worlds, speaking different languages and as experiencing communication failure. There is no framework‐independent argument or evidence to distinguish any framework as the best available approximation to the truth. Frameworks are logically disconnected and incommensurable. (shrink)
Popper, Polanyi and Duncker represent the widely held position that theoretical and experimental scientific research are motivated by problems to which discoveries are solutions. According to the argument here, their views are unsupported and - in light of counter-instances, anomalous chance discoveries, and the force of curiosity - over-generalized.
It has been said that Robert Boyle gave in the century of The Scientific Revolution the “fullest expression” of the view that laws of nature are continually impressed by God (“occasionalism”). So regarded, the universe is anything but an autonomous machine, its ordered operation depending on God’s continuous imposition of lawful, patterned relations between phenomena and his continuous provision of motion for them to actually enter relations. The present paper contests this treatment of Boyle. Evidence is elicited to show that, (...) for Boyle, most physical relations issue from intrinsic dispositions of phenomena, not divine impositions, dispositions determined by corpuscular textures. Members of classes of phenomena have capacities to make specific changes which members of other classes have capacities to receive, these correlative capacities being necessarily connected, subjects in principle of a priori synthetic necessary knowledge. The same view is found in John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding. It is additionally argued that Boyle’s God, the quintessentially active being, imparted motion at the creation, whereafter the motion of (at least most) natural phenomena has derived from natural, not supernatural, impulsion. (shrink)
Anthropological discussions were important for Michael Polanyi in the middle phase of his intellectual career, in which he articulated in some detail his understanding of science, culture and society. This middle period commenced with his 1946 Riddell Memorial Lectures at Durham University in early 1946, published as Science, Faith and Society later that year, and extended through the publication of Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy in 1958, based on Polanyi’s 1951 and 1952 Gifford Lectures. The Riddell Lectures gave Polanyi’s (...) most robust working out of his constructive theory of science to date, although some of the ideas developed in Science, Faith and... (shrink)
An extended discussion of Richard Allen’s Beyond Liberalism: The Political Thought of F. A. Hayek & Michael Polanyi in which the book’s prominent themes and arguments are described, and certain inaccuracies and shortcomings noted.
C. P. Snow’s “The Two Cultures” controversially contrasted science and literature, suggesting that neither scientists nor literary intellectuals have much in common with, and seldom bother speaking to, the other. Responding to Snow, Michael Polanyi argued that specialization has made modern culture, not twofold but manifold. In his major work, Personal Knowledge, Polanyi explained that branches of modern culture have personal knowing and knowledge in common, and there is extensive cross-pollination of ideas. He also, in this book, saw the branches (...) of culture as disparate intellectual frameworks that are divorced from one another. (shrink)
Argumentation occurs through and as communicative activity. Communication is organized by pragmatic principles of expression and interpretation. Grice’s theory of conversational implicature provides a model for how people use rational principles to manage the ways in which they reason to representations of arguments, and not just reason from those representations. These principles are systematic biases that make possible reasonable decision-making and intersubjective understandings in the first place; but they also make possible all manner of errors and abuses. Much of what (...) is problematic in argumentation involves the ways in which the pragmatic principles of communication are exploited and the difficulties audiences and interlocutors have detecting and managing these abuses. (shrink)
Edward Shils presented his book Tradition (1981) as the first extensive study of the subject. This article casts light on Shils' multifaceted understanding of tradition, comprising pragmatic, Burkean, veridical, and evolutionist perspectives. His typology of traditions is noted, and his view of institutional bearers of tradition described. In assessing Shils' theory, however, we find that it overreaches, collapsing differences that exist between traditions, transmissions, and the traditional. Key Words: tradition transmission rationalization antitradition science.
SummaryFriedrich Hayek and Michael Polanyi corresponded with each other for the best part of thirty years. They had shared interests that included science, social science, economics, epistemology, history of ideas and political philosophy. Studying their correspondence and related writings, this article shows that Hayek and Polanyi were committed Liberals but with different understandings of liberty, the forces that endanger liberty, and the policies required to rescue it.
This paper is designed to reinterpret and clarify John Stuart Mill's ideas on science. Past discussions of these ideas strike me as unsatisfactory in two crucial respects. In the first place they have encouraged us to regard Mill's principal work on epistemology, A System of Logic, as fundamentally inductivist This is the received interpretation of Mill's Logic and one finds it summarized and affirmed in the remark of Laurens Laudan that 'by and large' Mill was 'a rather orthodox inductivist who (...) saw science as the generalisation of observation and who argued that all scientific ideas come directly from experience. (shrink)
Born in 1918 in New York, awarded a doctorate in analytical chemistry (1944), Leonard K. Nash enjoyed a distinguished career at Harvard, holding a chair of chemistry from 1959 to 1986. Conducting research in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, Nash authored successful textbooks, some of which remain in print (e.g. Elements of Chemical Thermodynamics, and Elements of Statistical Thermodynamics).This essay describes the theory of science that Nash developed in a book he published in 1963, The Nature of the Natural Sciences. The (...) present author is of the view that Nash's neglected theory is worth retrieving, as one that is likely to kindle the interest of historians of metascience on several counts. Part of .. (shrink)