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Science, Faith, and Society (Phoenix Books) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 15. August 1964

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 96 Seiten
  • Verlag: University of Chicago Press (15. August 1964)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0226672905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226672908
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,3 x 0,6 x 20,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 486.687 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Michael Polanyi was a Fellow of the Royal Society of England, a professor of physical chemistry and of social studies at the University of Manchester, and a Fellow of Merton College at Oxford. He was the author of many books, of which the University of Chicago Press has published Personal Knowledge, The Logic of Liberty, Meaning, The Study of Man, and Knowing and Being.


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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Peter Uys am 24. September 2008
Format: Taschenbuch
In Background & Prospect, the author sets out the aims of this 1946 work which was written in reaction to the persecution of scientists in the Soviet Union. Polanyi felt the need to formulate a philosophy of science that defines the nature of and provides justification for science in light of the Marxist-Leninist denial of the creative power of thought.

Part One: Science & Reality seeks to define the nature of science. He demonstrates that the propositions embodied in natural science are not derived by definite rules from experiential data. It is rather a process of (a) guessing or intuitive speculation driven by the creative impulse, guided by (b) critical caution or verification by observation. Both the aforementioned are channeled through the scientific conscience. The mind of the scientist transcends both the guessing and verification.

In Part Two: Authority & Conscience, Polanyi distinguishes between General Authority and Specific Authority. The first leaves the decision for interpreting traditional rules in the minds of numerous independent individuals; this type of authority requires freedom. Specific Authority centralizes such decisions at one point; this type requires obedience.

Part Three: Dedication & Servitude, considers how freedom is maintained within science itself. Sovereignty in the scientific realm is divided into fragments represented by individual scientists of whom fairness and tolerance are required.
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34 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Science with a Human Face! 28. April 2005
Von Kevin Currie-Knight - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
"Science Faith and Society" is an attempt by philosopher/chemist Michael Polanyi to dispel the myth of science as an impersonal and detached quest for certain truth. Far from being a radical postmodernist, Polanyi argues that science cannot be passion- or value-free, does not operate by a hard and fast rule-set, and, most importantly, relies on faith as much as reason.

Of course, much of this is old hat by now. Polanyi wrote SFS before Popper left his significant mark on science saying many of the same things, only louder. Kuhn was a direct contemporary of Polanyi and Feyerabend was still to come. Thus, SFS, consisting of three lectures given to the British Asskociation for the Advancement of Science, has an air of immediacy about it that certain similar works in philosophy of science don't have.

The first essay is "Science and Reality," which discusses why (a) science operates on no a priori rule set, but, at best, a collection of loosely held operational guidelines; and (b) why the act of scientific discovery is every bit as creative an act as artistic creation, and thus, must necessarily be value-imbued. (Popper, anyone?)

The second essay, "Authority and Conscience" discusses the type(s) of authority involved in science. From the necessarily hierarchal nature of article publishing to the master/apprentice relationship of science education, Polanyi argues that science is necessarily hierarchal, and that this hierarchy, while not ideal, is not per se a bad thing (contra Popper). He also begins his argument that while science is hierarchal, it is not the type of hierarchy that submits to an authority that barks orders. Rather, science is the type of hierarchy that allows all members to be free in exploration, and to challenge the upper tiers of the hierarchy should they feel them wrong. (Polanyi compares the hierarchy of science to the hierarchy of the protestant church; a hierarchy is noticeable, but members are left free to interpret the bible themselves. This, in contrast to the hierarchy of the catholic church, where the hierarchy involves telling members how the bible is to be interpreted.)

The third essay, "Dedication or Servitude" is a discussion of why science must be free to survive - that is, why if there needs to be a hierarchy, that hierarchy must not be the type that tells sceintists what to think, but should be one that allows for intellectual freedom, including the freedom to challenge science's conclusions. Polanyi's defense of freedom for science is much the same as Hayek's argument against central planning in society.

The overarching theme of this book, though, is that sicence is a human enterprise that was invented by and furthered by humans. As such, it cannot be impersonal, value-neutral, or able to attain certitude. Science presupposes a belief shared in common by all scientists - a faith, that is, in the ideals of science and intellectual inquiry that is a faith like any other, to be sure. While I think Polanyi's equation of science as a faith like any others is a bit over the top (science can be self-justified on pragmatic grounds of its past succcesses compared to other methodologies, I think), this book was a treat to read. Far from denigrating science by putting a human face on it, Polanyi's love for, and faith in, science is evident on every page.
16 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Guidance in the absence of absolutes 24. September 2008
Von Peter Uys - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
In Background & Prospect, the author sets out the aims of this 1946 work which was written in reaction to the persecution of scientists in the Soviet Union. Polanyi felt the need to formulate a philosophy of science that defines the nature of and provides justification for science in light of the Marxist-Leninist denial of the creative power of thought.

Part One: Science & Reality seeks to define the nature of science. He demonstrates that the propositions embodied in natural science are not derived by definite rules from experiential data. It is rather a process of (a) guessing or intuitive speculation driven by the creative impulse, guided by (b) critical caution or verification by observation. Both the aforementioned are channeled through the scientific conscience. The mind of the scientist transcends both the guessing and verification.

In Part Two: Authority & Conscience, Polanyi distinguishes between General Authority and Specific Authority. The first leaves the decision for interpreting traditional rules in the minds of numerous independent individuals; this type of authority requires freedom. Specific Authority centralizes such decisions at one point; this type requires obedience.

Part Three: Dedication & Servitude, considers how freedom is maintained within science itself. Sovereignty in the scientific realm is divided into fragments represented by individual scientists of whom fairness and tolerance are required. Fairness means that the scientist makes an effort to put her/his case objectively, recognizing the limitations of their own abilities and the existence of personal bias; tolerance requires the capacity to endure the unfair/hostile statements of opponents.

Upholding fairness and tolerance involves the public. Controversies between proponents of ideas are conducted in order to canvass support instead of persuading one another. In a public contest, fairness and tolerance can be maintained only when the audience resists false oratory and values moderation. A discerning public able to perceive insincerity of argument is an essential partner in the process of open debate. Such an audience will prefer moderate claims admitting an element of personal conviction in order to maintain mental balance and as proof of conscientious thinking by those appealing for its support.

Institutions that provide shelter to free discussion in a free society may include houses of parliament, courts of law, churches, the media, local government and various private committees in charge of a multitude of cultural, humanitarian and political organizations. A community which practices free discussion agrees with the fourfold proposition that (i) truth exists (ii) all its members value it (iii) they feel compelled to pursue it (iv) they are capable of doing so.

Thus the sovereignty of a free public opinion is the foundation stone of science since a society committed to truth must grant freedom to science as one form of truth. Even though true propositions cannot be established by any explicit criteria we do assert the universal validity of propositions to which we personally assent. In this way we express our conviction that truth is real; according validity to any great domain of the mind is to affirm a faith that can only be upheld within a community.

Our current civilizational crisis derives from the idea that freedom does not mean the acceptance of any particular obligations and is incompatible with a prescription of its own limits. In this view, freedom of thought means the rejection of any type of traditional beliefs including those on which freedom itself is based. Polanyi provides a brief outline of the historical process by which the (post)modern crisis has arisen.

In discussing movements like Bolshevism and Fascism he observes that they owed their success entirely to hidden spiritual resources, gaining power on a wave of patriotic or humanitarian passions. As shown by Hoffer in The True Believer, those who discard the pursuit of truth for the interests of particular groups inevitably attach their aspirations to the struggle for power. All their love & devotion are poured into a residue of reality, the power of the chosen party. This is the root of the fanaticism and the profound moral response even while moral realities are scorned; love of truth & justice is distorted into a love of state power.

The society that spurns transcendent ideals chooses to be subjected to servitude, as so thoroughly explained by Hayek in The Road to Serfdom. Intolerance returns with a vengeance; the skeptical empiricism which had once broken the shackles of medieval church authority proceeds to destroy the authority of conscience. See also Stephen Hicks' remarkable book Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism And Socialism From Rousseau To Foucault.

There is no common ground for argument between the believer in transcendent reality and the sinisterist but conversion is possible, where the collectivist's beliefs are transferred from the theory of political violence to the spiritual realm. The case of the Romantic nihilist is more difficult according to Polanyi, since the cult of brutality tends to utterly corrupt the very core of humanity.

Polanyi's distinction is crucial: although he denies that truth is demonstrable, he asserts that it is indeed knowable by tradition and by conscience which is mankind's guide to truth. It is impossible - as logical positivism demonstrates - of verifying any universal statements (a fact that exacerbates the crisis caused by skeptical empiricism), but tradition remains the foundation for universal ideals. We ought thus to cultivate to the best of our ability the particular strain of tradition into which we were born.

Polanyi concludes that well-being seems not to be the real purpose of society but secondary to its task of fulfilling aims in the spiritual field. The knowledge of abiding concerns is reinforced by the free conscience of every generation, adding to our spiritual heritage. We may therefore assume that the source of this inspiration is the same as that which first gave mankind its society-forming knowledge. Knowledge of reality & acceptance of those obligations that guide our consciences will ultimately reveal to us The Eternal Divine in man and society. This thought-provoking book concludes with three indices: Premises of Science, Significance of New Observations and Correspondence with Observation.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Science, Faith and Society - A Thorough Exploration of Scientific Method and Meaning 30. März 2011
Von Chris Schansberg - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Polanyi's Science, Faith and Society is a wonderful contribution to the philosophy of science and explores three principle areas of scientific process: (1) How the process of scientific discovery actually occurs through the interaction of conscience and intuition; (2) the necessity of freedom in scientific endeavors; and (3) the nature of the interdependence between the various fields of scientific inquiry.

Polanyi writes with authority as his background and training is in the physical sciences. His work as a physical chemist was acknowledged by the likes of Albert Einstein. His description of the process of scientific thought and discovery will come as a surprise to the lay reader or novice scientist as he describes the process of scientific discovery as a creative activity that is highly dependent on the intuition of the scientist and other intangible characteristics such as beauty and passion. In this book, Polanyi also describes the importance of peer review and accountability among peers in the scientific community as an indispensable aid to heuristic discovery. In our age which uncritically embraces an attitude toward scientific discovery that excludes the value of intuition, imagination and spirituality, Polanyi's work is a needed critique.

As a bonus, in the book's Introduction Polanyi speaks to the genesis of his thinking on these matters from the handling of science by Stalin's Soviet Russia - particularly his encounters with N.I. Bukharin who advocated the Soviet Union's policy of comprehensive planning of scientific research. Polanyi reveals that his encounter with Bukharin impelled his exploration of the question of "why we do science as we do" and "how scientific exploration occurs."

After reading this smaller work by Polanyi, I heartily recommend his famous work, Personal Knowledge Personal Knowledge (Paperback and Kindle) which is a fuller exploration of the realities upon which Science, Faith and Society is based.
Reverend Chris Schansberg
Author, Beyond Any Doubt (Paperback and Kindle)
and
Science, Evolutionary Theory and Christianity (Paperback and Kindle)
0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
How Science Works as an Institution 16. April 2013
Von Masood Mortazavi - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book contains some great essays on the institutions of science and on what it is to do science.

Polayni is a sober writer. He touches all the significant issues and delineates some simple comparisons with other knowledge organizations.
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