Polanyi Condensate LO25946

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 01/19/01

Replying to LO25926 --

Dear Organlearners,

Artur Silva <artsilva@mail.eunet.pt> writes:

>Before answering your question, At, let me first
>thank you for your splendid "learning condensates"
>- they are extremely useful.

Greetings dear Artur,

I can only thank you and Fred too. You two not only helped to set up a
great entropic force in my mind, but you did it in a well behaved manner.
Doing it in a reckless manner would have made me shut it down, otherwise
it would have produced destructive immergences.

>Now in what concerns your question, I think that
>"The Tacit Dimension" (TD, from now on) is the
>central book from Polanyi. I am not saying the
>most important. But the one where he clarified
>things he could not understand before and did not
>repeat afterwards.

Yes, I think so to. But after I had read his last book ever, "Meaning",
the last chapter created a vivid picture in my mind of a white haired man,
bent forwards while struggling against the wind of minds going in the
other direction, eyes burning, not because of the wind, but of seeing
something which few have seen before, knowing that the future has to be
created in deep commitment.

>From that and other parts of TD, Polanyi says that
>Knowing is more general than knowledge and includes
>most of the tacit elements... Please confirm
>that when you reread TD.

Yes, it is for me how MP sees it.

But it is not how I see it anymore. MP still thought that some knowledge
is impersonal and outside persons rather than in a person. He did so
because I think he was too close to natural science. I say rather most
dangerously that all "scientific knowledge" is also personal knowledge.
Scientific knowledge is based on experiments. But what is experiments
other than "organised experiences". I have done the most wierd "organised
experiences" rather than "unorganised experiences" in the deserts. But
they would never reach a scientific journal because they cannot be lumped
under a discipline and cannot be hooked to fashionable problems.

That which we get in all these scientific journals, is not knowledge, but
information produced by scientists, having acquired the "cnawlec" (in
being and becoming) within to do so. As such all this information, despite
how immensely intimidating it is, is of lower order than the inner
"cnawlec". (I have explained some time ago in "Knowledge and Information"
this "cnawlec". It means "emergent like" in modern English)

But rest assured, when I create that Learning Condensate for "The Tacit
Dimension", I will try to stick to MP and not utter (except on the tacit
level ;-) any of my own "cnawlec". Thus I will not self do any gentle
persuasion or suggestions in that Learning Condensate. I will leave it up
to MP to do it in the way he did it in 1966 and not in any later time like
in "Meaning" or even after it. This is the only way in which your own
learning as well as that of all other fellow learners can proceed
authentically. If you then still want to maintain that "tacit knowing
cannot be told", you are entitled by al means to do so.

>PS: And yes, I also agree with Maggie, that in a
>hierarchical society we say "superior" or "higher"
>(tacit vs explicit) incorrectly to say something else
>(more fundamental? more profound? something differnt?).

When we say "superior", then, because of an ontological outlook it would
appear to be a judgement because of the lack of ontogeny (morphogenesis).
It is because we have little, if any, "cnawlec" in the upward flow
(becoming) through all the stratifications of a hierarchial system (seen
as being). I think MP wanted to stress the ontogeny of knowledge by
writing it as "knowing". But at that time the "ontology of knowledge" was
too firmly established in philosophy to even give it a tiny shake.

Judgements are deadly to learning and knowing.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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