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Meaning Paperback – January 15, 1977

ISBN-13: 978-0226672953 ISBN-10: 0226672956

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Meaning + Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy + The Tacit Dimension
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (January 15, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226672956
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226672953
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #870,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Scott Shipman on October 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Polanyi offered an alternative take on his title for this small volume as "intellectual freedom." I believe this was Polanyi's last book, and he appeared to be tying up lose ends. I preferred the first half of the book to the second. In the first half he provides a quick but potent recap of "personal knowledge" (which for the curious, is a good synopsis of the Polanyi volume of the same title). In this chapter Polanyi sets up the triangle of tacit knowledge where the point of the triangle are subsidiary particulars, the knower, and the focal target.

In his chapter called "Reconstruction" Polanyi wrestles with the implications and barriers to the transfer of tacit knowledge. My favorite chapter was "From Perception to Metaphor." Polanyi correctly points out, "...our personal judgement is what it is because of the clues we dwell in, including, of course, the general views to which we are committed about the nature of things and the nature of knowledge. We ought, therefore, to adopt the kind of general views about the nature of things and the the nature of knowledge that will not prevent our belief in the reality of those coherences that we do, in fact, see." (From the supposition that perception is reality.) In this chapter, Polanyi emphasizes the importance of words in the integration of new ideas, and this chapter finds the author presenting a formula of sorts to describe how we "integrate" new ideas by identifying subsidiaries and their relationship(s) to focal meaning.

The second half of the book is very good, but it held little interest compared to the mechanistic first half. The closing chapter on Freedom has a "preachy" tone, but it is not objectionable; Polanyi makes no mystery of his reliance on his Faith.
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