- Paperback: 277 pages
- Publisher: Liberty Fund; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (July 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0865971838
- ISBN-13: 978-0865971837
- Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,783,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Logic of Liberty, The Paperback – July 1, 1998
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About the Author
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. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
To those who have already read his masterwork, Personal Knowledge, the essays contained in the Logic of Liberty might seem a tad redundant, but it is always worth visiting the mind of a great thinker like Polanyi. Moreover, this volume provides some insights into the development of his thought, specifically how his practice as a scientist led him to be an important defender of spontaneous order and a critic of central planning.
The central messages of his work are as follows: 1.) all belief systems, including the hard sciences, spring from an irreducibly personal starting point, a conviction that we have that we cannot compel others to accept and 2.) humanity's best hope for attaining truth, justice and beauty lie in a community of freely associating people who share the same personal convictions. Science is successful precisely because it is such a community.
The two best essays in this volume, in my opinion are "Scientific Conviction and "Perils of Inconsistency." The first provides a pretty good overview of Polanyi's philosophy of science and epistemology generally. The latter traces the different attitudes toward liberty held in Britain and Continental Europe. Polanyi contends that, in some sense, British inconsistency saved it from implementing too much radical change.
This volume can't be described as Polanyi's most important work, but it is worth reading nonetheless.