Public Recognition, Vanity, and the Quest for Truth: Reflection on ‘Polanyi vs. Kuhn’

Tradition and Discovery 33 (2):37-48 (2006)
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After commending Moleski for his excellent study, I focus attention on three areas that merit further clarification: (1) that Michael Polanyi’s quest for public recognition was legitimate and not the effect of a runaway vanity, (2) that Kuhn’s straining to define his dependence upon Polanyi was blocked by the unspecifiability clouding the discovery process and by his notion that Polanyi appealed to ESP to explain the dynamics of· discovery, and (3) that Kuhn’s success in gaining public recognition for his paradigm shift was understandable. In the end, I list five areas wherein Kuhn’s account of scientific revolutions could be substantially improved by joining forces with Polanyi.

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Aaron Milavec
University of Roehampton


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