||Iwo Zmyslony BA. (Catholic University Leuven)
Michael Polanyi's notion of tacit knowledge
Polanyi is ussually listed among such modern philosophers of science as
Hanson, Toulmin, Kuhn or Feyerabend, yet his name is rather hardly
mentioned and his philosophy remains unrevealed. His main idea however
- namely the notion of tacit knowledge - has occured very fertile and
influential, widespreading since the 80ties into such diverse domains
like e.g. cognitive science, artificial intelligence or theories of
The purpose of my paper is to introduce and clarify systematically the
Polanyi's notion of tacit knowledge. Since his philosophy is
practically unknown I shall begin with the general introduction by
presenting a short biographical and bibliographical sketch of the author's
profile. The next step will expose the systhematical backround of his
philosophical views and some semantical context of the analysed term. In
order to the notorious ambiguity of the polanyian category, the various
concepts of tacit knowledge will be given.
Polanyi's notion of tacit knowledge is usually screened by facing the fact
that we know more than we can tell. The central part of my paper will thus
demonstrate and explorate the examples of those facts, by showing some Gestalt
experiments that inspirated Polanyi's conception first. This is ment for
displaying the concealed dynamic nature of our perception, namely the so-called
tacit dimension attributed by Polany to the structure of our minds, our knowledge
and the whole reality. Understanding of the very structure will be further broaded
by introducing some other major terms from Polanyi's epistemology (e.g.
subsidiary clues, focal whole, indwelling) and applying them to explain such
phenomenons as scientific discover or paradigm in the science.
M.A. Student of Philosophy and the History of Art at the Catholic
University of Lublin (Poland); researched on german analytical philosophy
and hermeneutics at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universitšt Freiburg (Germany);
currently at the Catholic University Leuven (Belgium) preparing his master
bout the notion of tacit knowledge by Michael Polanyi. Interested in
ontology, axiology and epistemology in hermeneutical approach.