Volume 47, Issue 2, July 2021
Walter B. Gulick
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.