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Michael Polanyi and His GenerationOrigins of the Social Construction of Science$
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Mary Jo Nye

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226610634

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226610658.001.0001

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Political Foundations of the Philosophies of Science of Popper, Kuhn, and Polanyi

Political Foundations of the Philosophies of Science of Popper, Kuhn, and Polanyi

(p.223) SEVEN Political Foundations of the Philosophies of Science of Popper, Kuhn, and Polanyi
Michael Polanyi and His Generation

Mary Jo Nye

University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the early experiences and writings of Popper and Kuhn before the publication of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and makes comparisons between Popper's and Kuhn's epistemological arguments and political assumptions with Michael Polanyi's published views prior to Personal Knowledge. Its argument is that the initial influence of Popper's and Polanyi's truly original ideas in the philosophy of science occurred in their explicitly political writings which appeared well before the publication in the United States and Great Britain of their big philosophical books. Kuhn's publications also carry a political agenda that asserts the reciprocal relationship of science and democracy, but the message is implicit rather than explicit in his philosophy of science. Polanyi's early writings laid out an argument for the social nature of science that can be found later in Kuhn, while Popper found Polanyi's and Kuhn's portrayal of the stability of belief and dogma in a scientific community antithetical to his valuation of skepticism in science.

Keywords:   epistemological arguments, Popper, Kuhn, political assumptions, philosophy of science, reciprocal relationship, democracy, social nature, belief, dogma

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