Michael Polanyi: Scientist and Philosopher

By William Taussig Scott; Martin X. Moleski | Go to book overview

8

Personal Knowledge:
1948–1959

The time for the final goodbye to physical chemistry was approaching. By the end of Lent term, March 18, 1948, Polanyi had already taken up an office in the Faculty of Economics and Social Studies. The Chemistry Department gave him a joyful farewell party on March 20. Polanyi's first impression of his new department was that it was lively and energetic. There were four professors and about twenty members of the junior staff, all of whom met twice a week for conferences, which Polanyi found "quite a strain to attend and digest."1 Polanyi did not intend to shape himself to the mold of Economics and Social Studies: "I am taking a rather high-handed attitude and consider myself a research professor until proof of the contrary."2 Although he felt unqualified to teach any part of the subjects offered by the department—and therefore anticipated that he would not be called on to do so—he was asked to lecture in the fall term on "Problems of Planning" and conduct a few informal seminars. "Even a great-hearted university like Manchester demands its pound of flesh."3

Polanyi dedicated the summer of 1948 to preparation of his economics lectures and a collection of essays, The Logic of Liberty. At the end of the summer, when Polanyi felt he was getting badly bogged down again, he and Magda went on a vacation to Arles and Avignon in Southern France. It was just what they needed. "Basking in the sunshine of Provence, Manchester seems… remote," Polanyi wrote in a postcard to Olive Davies. "It is only a week that we left but here one loses oneself in the vestiges of twenty centuries."4

-211-

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Michael Polanyi: Scientist and Philosopher
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Contents xv
  • A Note on Names xvii
  • Abbreviations xix
  • Part I - Hungary: 1891–1919 1
  • 1: Early Years: 1891–1914 3
  • 2: Coming of Age in the Great War: 1914–1919 33
  • Part II - Germany: 1919–1933 53
  • 3: Karlsruhe: 1919–1920 55
  • 4: The Fiber Institute: 1920–1923 67
  • 5: Institute for Physical Chemistry: 1923–1933 93
  • Part III - Manchester: 1933–1959 131
  • 6: Physical Chemistry and Economics: 1933–1937 133
  • 7: The Philosophy of Freedom: 1938–1947 171
  • 8: Personal Knowledge: 1948–1959 211
  • Part IV - Scholar at Large: 1959–1976 237
  • 9: Merton College, Oxford: 1959–1961 239
  • 10: At the Wheel of the World: 1961–1971 247
  • 11: The Last Years: 1971–1976 279
  • Epilogue 293
  • Appendix: People Interviewed by William T. Scott 295
  • Notes 297
  • Bibliography of Works by Michael Polanyi 327
  • Index 351
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