Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical

Volume 22, Issue 3, 1995/1996

Paul Nagy
Pages 17-27

Philosophy in a Different Voice
Michael Polanyi on Liberty and Liberalism

Polanyi belongs to a tradition which is neither modernist nor postmodernist, but which affirms speculative philosophy as an alternative to both and as an important form of public discourse. With his origins in the philosophical culture of central Europe, he may well emerge as a bridge between continental and Anglo-American analytic philosophy. He was a moral philosopher in the Aristotelian tradition who anticipated the turn in recent years away from the modern ethics of rules to the classical ethics of virtue. Within this context he espoused a new kind of liberalism and a different understanding of liberty.