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engagements with retrieving realism by herbert dreyfus and charles taylor
41. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Charles Lowney Robust Moral Realism: Pluralist or Emergent?
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In Retrieving Realism, Taylor and Dreyfus aim to correct mistaken modern assumptions and their post-modern reactions in order to affirm a robust realism about a world for scientific and moral exploration. Their critiques and solutions have much in common with Polanyi’s approach; they all emphasize tacit body-knowing, background frameworks, and our ability to develop epistemological structures that better and better grasp the world considered independent from us. Dreyfus-Taylor and Polanyi diverge, however, when it comes to choosing a framework from which to understand a robust moral realism. The former endorse a Heideggerian “reveal but conceal” pluralist approach, while a Polanyian view advocates a “progress but with risk” emergentist approach. I argue that the emergentist approach provides a better defense against deflationary realism and better reconciles apparent contradictions, such as physical causality and free will, engaged contact and progress in knowing reality in-itself, and cultural relativism and objective morality. While a pluralist account may have the strength of endorsing tolerance, it is more vulnerable to an ethical relativism; and while an emergentist view is more clearly at risk of illicit dogmatism, it has the strength of endorsing the search for moral truth that we all can share.
book reviews
42. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Andrew Grosso The Language Animal: the Full Shape of the Human Linguistic Capacity
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43. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Dale Cannon To Flourish or Destruct: A Personalist Theory of Human Goods and Motivation
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journal and society information
44. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Editorial Board and Submissions Guide
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45. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Paul Lewis Preface
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journal and society information
46. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Notes on Contributors
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essays
47. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Thomas Pfau The Failure of Charity and the Loss of Personhood: Beyond the Enlightenment Impasse
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Pfau elaborates the arguments he develops in Minding the Modern, and devotes particular attention to the question of the incommensurability of premodern and modern accounts of personhood and agency. He highlights the distinct nature of humanistic forms of inquiry (including history and theology) and examines their hermeneutic character, noting the priority of meaning over method. He emphasizes the interdependence of affection, volition, and cognition, and also analyzes varying descriptions of relationality. The article closes with a meditation on a section of T.S. Eliot’s Waste Land and the insights it provides to the themes mentioned in the essay.
48. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Martin X. Moleski Restoring Faith in Reason: Thomas Pfau’s Defense of Humanistic Inquiry
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This article provides an appreciative but critical analysis of the account of humanistic inquiry Thomas Pfau develops in Minding the Modern. Moleski examines various complementary accounts of tacit knowing, and highlights the importance of assent, conscience, and tradition. He critiques Pfau’s account of objectivity, and argues perspectivalism and pluralism are not barriers to reliable knowledge of reality. He concludes with a cursory comparison of the efforts of Pfau, Newman, Polanyi, and Lonergan.
49. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Philip Rolnick Person and Its Constellated Corollaries: Conversing with Thomas Pfau
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This essay explores the analysis of the concept of the person Thomas Pfau develops in Minding the Modern. Rolnick highlights the correspondence of the concepts of personhood and incommunicability, and also examines the relationship between personhood, intellect, and will. He further analyzes the correspondence between personhood, transcendence, and grace. He concludes with a question about Pfau’s reading of the history of modernity and the difference between formal and informal historical influences.
50. Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Martin E. Turkis II Robert Scholes: A Philosophically-Grounded Approach to English Pedagogy as Popular, Post-Critical Education
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Robert Scholes is a respected literary critic and semiotician who, motivated by dissatisfaction with the reigning epistemological assumptions in the field of literary theory, has advocated revamping the discipline of English in significant ways. Scholes’s own epistemology and semiotic approach to pedagogy cohere quite well with Polanyi’s epistemological work and are, in essence, post-critical. Given that far more students in the American educational system study English than philosophy, a wider embrace of Scholes’s pedagogical approach could provide more opportunities than are currently available to give students access to a post-critical formation. Scholes’s epistemology, semiotics, and pedagogy are discussed in some detail, and resonances with Polanyi’s grand project are highlighted.