Michael Polanyi

Michael Polanyi
Michael Polanyi
  • Born: March 11, 1891
  • Died: February 22, 1976
  • Nationality: Hungarian
  • Profession: Professor Physical Chemistry, Professor Social Studies

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Millions are spend annually on the cultivation and dissemination of science by the public authorities who will not give a penny for the advancement of astrology or sorcery. In other words, our society is deeply committed to beliefs about the nature of things, beliefs which are different from those to which the early Egyptian or Aztec civilizations were committed. Energy ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Scientists, freely making their own choice of problems and pursuing them in the light of their own personal judgment, are in fact co-operating as members of a closely knit organization. Such self-co-ordination of independent initiatives leads to a joint result which is unpremeditated by any of those who bring it about. Any attempt to organize the group ... under a single authority would eliminate their independent initiatives, and thus reduce their joint effectiveness to that of the single person directing them from the center. It would, in effect, paralyze their co-operation. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Admittedly, scientific authority is not distributed evenly throughout the body of scientists; some distinguished members of the profession predominate over others of a more junior standing.
Admittedly, the body of scientists, as a whole, does uphold the authority of science over the lay public. It controls thereby also the process by which young men are trained to become members of the scientific profession. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
And the actual achievements of biology are explanations in terms of mechanisms founded on physics and chemistry, which is not the same thing as explanations in terms of physics and chemistry.
But even physics cannot be defined from an atomic topography.
But the system of prices ruling the market not only transmits information in the light of which economic agents can mutually adjust their actions, it also provides them with an incentive to exercise economy in terms of money. Money, Coins & Minting
Human beings exercise responsibilities within a social setting and a framework of obligations which transcend the principle of intelligence.
I hold that the propositions embodied in natural science are not derived by any definite rule from the data of experience, and that they can neither be verified nor falsified by experience according to any definite rule. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
I shall suggest, on the contrary, that all communication relies, to a noticeable extent on evoking knowledge that we cannot tell, and that all our knowledge of mental processes, like feelings or conscious intellectual activities, is based on a knowledge which we cannot tell. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Moreover, only a strong and united scientific opinion imposing the intrinsic value of scientific progress on society at large can elicit the support of scientific inquiry by the general public. Society
My title is intended to suggest that the community of scientists is organized in a way which resembles certain features of a body politic and works according to economic principles similar to those by which the production of material goods is regulated.
No inanimate object is ever fully determined by the laws of physics and chemistry.
Of course language manifests a belief only if we use its words with the implied acceptance of their appositeness.
So long as we use a certain language, all questions that we can ask will have to be formulated in it and will thereby confirm the theory of the universe which is implied in the vocabulary and structure of the language.
The first thing to make clear is that scientists, freely making their own choice of problems and pursuing them in the light of their own personal judgment, are in fact co-operating as members of a closely knit organization.
The process of philosophic and scientific enlightenment has shaken the stability of beliefs held explicitly as articles of faith. Religion & God
Theories of evolution must provide for the creative acts which brought such theories into existence.
These maxims and the art of interpreting them may be said to constitute the premisses of science but I prefer to call them our scientific beliefs. These premisses or beliefs are embodied in a tradition, the tradition of science. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
We could not, for example, arrive at a principle like that of entropy without introducing some additional principle, such as randomness, to this topography.