Embodiment and Commitment in Scientific Inquiry: Recovering Polanyi’s Sense of Personal Agency

Within contemporary science studies there is a lacuna around the notion of agency. Michael Polanyi’s sense of the personal agency of the scientist addresses this lack. Polanyi articulates agency around the two foci of embodiment and commitment. I situate Polanyi’s articulation against the better known and more influential work of Thomas Kuhn. I argue that Kuhn appropriated Polanyi’s notion of tacit knowing in a manner that confused and occluded Polanyi’s focus on agency. Recovery of Polanyi.’s sense of agency within scientific inquiry substantiates our understanding of science and complements already-existing ideological critiques of science.

Peet, C. (2002). Embodiment and commitment in scientific inquiry: Recovering Polanyi’s sense of personal agency. International Journal of Critical Psychology, 5, pp. 71-91.

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