Michael Polanyi: A Critical Exposition

Michael Polanyi: A Critical Exposition

Michael Polanyi: A Critical Exposition

Michael Polanyi: A Critical Exposition

Synopsis

Michael Polanyi was an eminent physical chemist, economist, and philosopher. This book explains how the many diverse topics that concerned him belong together as essential elements in his effort to play physician to the sickness of the modern mind. Using both published and unpublished writings, Prosch critically evaluates Polanyi's efforts and examines the value of his work as philosophy. The book contains a complete bibliography of Polanyi's humanistic publications and all of his earlier works."

Excerpt

This book had its origin in a sabbatical leave I spent with Michael Polanyi in Oxford, England, during 1968-69. I had come as an interested but rather critical spectator, intending to assess coolly what this strange interloper into philosophy was doing, and to analyze his thought into its fundamental grounds and principles. I left a fellow participant in an active effort to develop an adequate contemporary philosophy, wholly convinced that Polanyi was on to something tremendously fundamental, sound, and healthy for the modern mind, but not yet wholly convinced that he had got it all perfectly straight.

I had already begun writing this book toward the end of this stay with him. He himself interrupted my work on it twice, however: once when he asked me to share a Visiting Professorship with him at the University of Chicago and then later when he asked me to help him bring out in the form of a book what proved to be his last series of lectures. By this time his advanced age made it necessary for that work with him to be more that of a collaborator than of an editor or an assistant; by the time we got started on the book he was no longer able to write. Accordingly, in the preparation of our text, I made every effort to stick as closely to the very words of his unpublished lectures and of his other published works as continuity, coherence, and the development of . . .

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