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1. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Paul Lewis, Preface
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2. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
News and Notes
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articles
3. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Phil Mullins, A Prefatory Note on Polanyi’s “Forms of Atheism”
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This introduction to Polanyi’s little-known 1948 essay “Forms of Atheism” discusses the context in which Polanyi wrote these reflections for a discussion group chaired by J. H. Oldham.
4. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Michael Polanyi, Forms of Atheism
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This brief and provocative 1948 essay by Michael Polanyi was produced for discussion by a group of religious intellectuals convened by J. H. Oldham. Polanyi outlines the sources and contours of modern social and political ideas in terms of the interaction of four types of “substitute deities” that have emerged in modern society and displaced what Polanyi identifies as the “God manifested in the Bible.”
5. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Martin X. Moleski, S.J., Accepting Imperfection: The Social Creed of a Christian Capitalist
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“Forms of Atheism” is, despite its title, a plea for modest expectations in the economic and social sphere. Polanyi identifies five kinds of false “gods” who have led our culture astray. Although he criticizes an ideal of progress inspired by the Christian tradition, he affirms the importance of love and praises “the British sense of national brotherhood” as a force for good that derives from “obeying the will of God.” What Polanyi means by “God” is left to the reader’s sympathetic intuition into Polanyi’s character.
6. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
D. M. Yeager, Exploring the Underground: Silent Assumptions and Social Pathologies
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Convinced that reason is far from transparent to itself, Michael Polanyi, even in the earliest of his non-scientific texts, sets about the work of exposing the influence of unacknowledged presuppositions, commitments, and mental dispositions. Beginning in 1950 he identifies certain of those dispositions as “moral passions,” but in earlier texts he explores this feature of experience in a variety of tentative, preliminary ways that mark stages in the shaping of his moral anthropology. Set alongside “To the Peacemakers” (1917) and the final section of Science, Faith and Society (1946), “Forms of Atheism” (1948) offers an instructive moment in this development. The three contrasting analyses all point toward and illuminate the mature account of moral passion (and the associated theory of moral inversion) that supersedes them.
7. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Richard Gelwick, A Clue Toward Knowing Truth and God: Polanyi’s “Forms of Atheism”
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The topic of atheisms of our time brings to the fore Michael Polanyi’s own beliefs about God which underlie and are briefly expressed in his essay, but need to be shown in a fuller exposition. His beliefs arise from two main sources. One is Polanyi’s intense life of pursuing of truth through science and also responding to his society in its destructive wars and revolutions. The second source is his belief in the God of the Bible which presents an ongoing journey of fidelity to truth seeking. In developing a new epistemology, he offered a clue toward knowing truth and God.
8. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
David W. Rutledge, William Poteat: The Primacy of the Person
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This essay provides an overview of Poteat’s thought, beginning with his basic problem of the eradication of the embodied person from accounts of human knowing in the critical tradition. Poteat’s analysis of the move from “place” to “space” as the arena of living shows his procedure. I isolate six elements of the recovery of the person in his work: the necessity of his strange vocabulary, the need to embed knowing in time, the primacy of speech over writing, the centrality of the body to all knowing, the mindbodily unity of the person, and the mindbody as the ground of all meaning-making. I conclude with three questions: Is Descartes, or bourgeois culture, the real villain of modern thought? Isn’t language, rather than the mindbody, a more appropriate place to locate the absolute center of the Real? Isn’t there a need to flesh out Poteat’s individualistic focus with the communal dimensions of personhood?
9. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Walter Gulick, Paul Craig Roberts’ The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism
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Roberts’ The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism offers a persuasive and serious indictment of US economic policy. Neither political party seems capable of even challenging corporate-influenced policies like the outsourcing and offshoring of jobs, policies which further enrich the very few at the expense of the many.
10. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Paul Craig Roberts, An Appreciative Response to Walter Gulick
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Gulick’s description and analysis of my The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism is largely on target, but in this response I point out several of his misperceptions and elaborate on several points made in my book. For instance, I note that Polanyi’s monetary prescription for stimulating the economy is no longer relevant when so many US jobs have moved offshore. Polanyi’s interest in achieving full employment has been replaced by Federal Reserve policies that keep risk-taking banks solvent.