Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy

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University of Chicago Press, 1962 - Philosophy - 428 pages
10 Reviews
In this work the distinguished physical chemist and philosopher, Michael Polanyi, demonstrates that the scientist's personal participation in his knowledge, in both its discovery and its validation, is an indispensable part of science itself. Even in the exact sciences, "knowing" is an art, of which the skill of the knower, guided by his personal commitment and his passionate sense of increasing contact with reality, is a logically necessary part. In the biological and social sciences this becomes even more evident.

The tendency to make knowledge impersonal in our culture has split fact from value, science from humanity. Polanyi wishes to substitute for the objective, impersonal ideal of scientific detachment an alternative ideal which gives attention to the personal involvement of the knower in all acts of understanding. His book should help to restore science to its rightful place in an integrated culture, as part of the whole person's continuing endeavor to make sense of the totality of his experience. In honor of this work and his The Study of Man Polanyi was presented with the Lecomte de NoŁy Award for 1959.

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Review: Personal Knowledge

User Review  - Sanford Forte - Goodreads

In "Personal Knowledge" the late Michael Polanyi, a Nobel-prize-winning Physical Chemist - created a tour-de-force analysis that explores the tacit, subjective nature of thought. Polanyi makes a ... Read full review

Review: Personal Knowledge

User Review  - Celeste De Bease - Goodreads

One of the pillars of my thought development Read full review

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About the author (1962)

Michael Polanyi (1891-1976), was born in Hungary, studied medicine, but devoted himself to research in chemistry. He worked in Germany until Hitler expelled Jews from public positions in 1933, when he went to the University of Manchester as Professor of Physical Chemistry. His books include his magnum opus, Personal Knowledge, as well as Science, Faith, and Society, among others.

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