Originally published in 1961. Michael Polanyi was a polymath who influenced economics and the sciences as well as philosophy. His wide-ranging research in physical science is as well-known as his work on freedom and knowledge and his arguments against positivism and reductionism. This collection of essays written for him touches on all aspects of his influence but rotates around his published lectures Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy. The contributors address four areas – The Scientist as Knower, Historical Perspectives, The Knowledge of Society and the Knowledge of Living Things.
Prelude 1. The Hungary of Michael Polanyi Paul Ignotus Part 1: The Scientist as Knower 2. An Index to Michael Polanyi’s Contributions to Science John Polanyi 3. Polanyi’s Contributioon to the Physics of Metals Erich Schmid 4. Rates of Reaction Henry Eyring 5. The Size and Shape of Molecules, as a Factor in their Biological Activity E. D. Bergmann Part 2: Historical Perspectives 6. Kepler and the Psychology of Discovery Arthur Koestler 7. The Scientists and the English Civil War C. V. Wedgwood 8. Vibrating Strings and Arbitrary Functions J. R. Ravetz 9. The Controversy on Freedom in Science in the Nineteenth Century J. R. Baker Part 3: The Knowledge of Society 10. Max Weber and Michael Polanyi Raymond Aron 11. Centre and Periphery Edward A. Shils 12. The Republic of Science Bertrand De Jouvenel 13. Machiavelli and the Profanation of Politics Irving Kristol 14. Applied Economics: The Application of What? Ely Devons 15. Some Notes on ‘Philosophy of History’ and the Problems of Human Society D. M. Mackinnon 16. Law-Courts and Dreams Elizabeth Sewell Part 4: The Knowledge of Living Things 17. The Logic of Biology Marjorie Grene 18. Origin of Life on Earth and Elsewhere Melvin Calvin 19. The Probability of the Existence of a Self-Reproducing Unit E. P. Wigner