The Tacit Mode

Michael Polanyi's Postmodern Philosophy

By Jerry H. Gill

Subjects: Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Constructive Postmodern Thought
Paperback : 9780791444306, 206 pages, January 2000
Hardcover : 9780791444290, 206 pages, January 2000

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Table of contents

Introduction to SUNY Series in Constructive Postmodern Thought
David Ray Griffin

Introduction: Deconstructing Modernism

Part One
Locating the Axis

1. The Basis of Modern Thought

2. The Dynamics of Cognitive Experience

3. The Structure of Knowledge

4. Deconstructing Deconstructionism

Part Two
Tracing the Patterns

5. In Science and Political Theory

6. In Language and Education

7. In Art and Religion

8. Other Interpretive Insights

Conclusion: Reconstructive Postmodernism


Note on Supporting Center


Explores the thought of twentieth-century philosopher Michael Polanyi.


The Tacit Mode exposes and explores the central insights in Michael Polanyi's major works. It focuses on his epistemological insights concerning tacit knowing, and explores their ramifications for philosophy, science, art, language, political theory, and religion. The notion of tacit knowledge reconstructs the modern concept of objectivity while avoiding the self-stultifying effects of "deconstructivist" postmodernism and puts Polanyi on the cutting edge of contemporary philosophy.

Jerry H. Gill is Professor of Philosophy at Pima Community College. He is the author of many books including, most recently, If a Chimpanzee Could Talk: And Other Reflections on Language Acquisition and Wittgenstein and Metaphor.


"Jerry Gill's book is an excellent overview of Michael Polanyi's thought, especially as it relates to the postmodern currents in contemporary philosophy. It will be of great help to the uninitiated in navigating Polanyi's writings, and in relating his thought to the wider culture. Gill is not afraid to develop his own framework for interpreting Polanyi, but he is always faithful to the content and import of Polanyi's writings. Polanyi is an extremely important figure about whom entirely too little has been written, especially this kind of summary, introductory work. " — David W. Rutledge, Furman University

"This book will arouse and challenge both Polanyi scholars and serious thinkers about the nature of the scientific outlook, modernism, and the nature of human knowing. It will not end debate, but it will put the value of Polanyi's tacit knowing in the forefront of philosophical discussion. Gill is a gifted teacher and perceptive philosopher of knowledge. He reaches both the general intellectual and the specialist in interesting and engaging ways. " — Richard Gelwick, author of The Way of Discovery: An Introduction to the Thought of Michael Polanyi