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ERIC Number: EJ924850
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0270-4676
Toward a Polanyian Critique of Technology: Attending "from" the Indwelling of Tools "to" the Course of Technological Civilization
van Pelt, James Clement
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, v31 n3 p236-246 Jun 2011
As a scientist, Michael Polanyi made significant advances in chemistry and economics. From that deep hands-on experience, he derived a powerful critique of prevailing ideas of knowledge and the proper role of science. He demonstrated that disregarding or eliminating the personal embodiment of knowing in the tacit dimension in pursuit of purely explicit and impersonal knowledge results in knowing that is misleadingly incomplete--"absurd." If technology is the practical application of science, then it should be useful to extend his critique of science to technology. The pursuit of impersonal knowledge parallels the quest for efficiency through the standardizing and programming of technique while devaluing personal knowing in the form of embodied skills, institutional memory, and a "feel" for possibilities that leads to insightful breakthroughs. As technological development continues to accelerate and proliferate unsustainably, the idolizing of efficiency operates to subsume other values that would tend to constrain such development, raising concerns about the future of discovery, of the economic and social order, and of the human soul. (Contains 30 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A