A Polanyian tack: political implications

PhD thesis

Hess, J. 2017. A Polanyian tack: political implications. PhD thesis Middlesex University / Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS) School of Law
TypePhD thesis
TitleA Polanyian tack: political implications
AuthorsHess, J.

Intellectual freedom justifies social freedom and is justified as the pursuit of truth. I argue that intellectual freedom is the creative exercise of Polanyian tacit knowing. Polanyian tacit knowing is discovery, a way to new truth.
Intellectual freedom, imagined is (1) negative or primarily critical doubt and opposition to Community, Authority and Tradition (CAT) (traditional liberalism); and (2) positive or the over-emphasis of CAT (1) and (2) are untenable and eliminates intellectual freedom by nihilism or totalitarianism; in (1) by nihilism; and (2) by totalitarianism. Nihilism starts in a wrong understanding of truth or how it is pursued while totalitarianism stems from over-emphasis on CAT.
Tacit knowledge is a way to analyse (1) the early Polanyi and the tension between social order and freedom; and (2) the late Polanyi and the gap between intellectual freedom and truth. Tacit knowledge presupposes CAT on the from side of tacit knowledge’s notation and overcomes CAT’s constraints by tacit knowing going to truth. Further, by restating his Hungarian Revolution as tacit knowing, tacit knowing is a way to a more truthful CAT, close the uncompleted side of tacit knowledge and solve the original problem of liberalism: its self-destruction.
By framing this query in terms of Polanyian intellectual freedom, I establish a way to bring together his early social theory and late epistemology to make an original contribution to Polanyian scholarship. A Polanyian tack ought to be given more thought as to its implications for social theory.

Department nameSchool of Law
Institution nameMiddlesex University / Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS)
Publication dates
Print17 Oct 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Oct 2017
Accepted27 Sep 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Permalink -


Download files

Accepted author manuscript
  • 9
    total views
  • 38
    total downloads
  • 1
    views this month
  • 3
    downloads this month

Export as