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Tradition and Discovery: The Polanyi Society Periodical

Volume 47, Issue 2, July 2021

Walter B. Gulick
Pages 34-45

Michael Polanyi’s Understanding of Field Theory

Michael Polanyi introduced the concept of fields in the last several pages of Personal Knowledge. In this essay I examine whether the last-minute addition of fields advances his explanation of anthropogenesis. Polanyi’s view of the role of fields in solving problems and discovery plus their place in ontogenesis and phylogenesis is examined and found not to be wholly satisfactory. Alternative explanations of the factors advancing discovery and problem solving are advanced.

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