whooo doggy

This is tough stuff. Here's a quote from a review about a book dealing with epistemology and the philosophies of two guys who I like (and are dead). :) Newman (a protestant turned catholic bishop) and Polanyi (a physicist/chemist turned philosopher). It's a tough read and I won't pretend to understand all of it, but here's a good quote. "Newman developed his notion of the illative sense in his major epistemological essay, Grammar of Assent. For Newman, the "illative sense" meant the power by which the mind generates and evaluates inferences. (The terms illative and inference derive from different forms of the same Latin verb that means "to carry.") Moleski [the author] locates Grammar of Assent in its biographical context and clarifies its purpose and structure. He then traces the line of argument whereby Newman accounts for the capacity and the legitimacy of holding beliefs to be true even though they can be neither fully understood nor explicitly proven. "While the title of Newmanís essay suggests that he will provide "rules" for the formation of judgment, Moleski shows that his purpose was precisely the opposite. There are no explicit methods or recipes for the mind to follow mechanically in its pursuit of truth. Rather, intelligence is guided towards the act of assent by an anticipatory and informal illative sense, which operates in a deeply personal way, beyond any technical rules. Thus, Newman argues against the attempt to formalize the conditions of legitimate assent. There can be no higher certitude than that given by the illative sense itself, and for this reason, all judgments are ultimately acts for which we must take personal responsibility. [This sounds like Kierkegaard to me--Schaeffer must be rolling in his grave!] In his theory of tacit knowledge, Polanyi provides a similar account of reason and responsibility. Moleski again begins by providing a biographical context for Polanyiís major text and then explains its purpose and structure. Personal Knowledge is a long and philosophically challenging work, and Moleskiís methodical chapter-by-chapter summary is helpful in focusing on Polanyiís central thesis that all knowledge is personal because all knowledge is either tacit or rooted in tacit knowledge. Polanyi sees knowing as an art, and like Newman, he attends to the role of intellectual passions and creative imagination in leading the mind forward in the pursuit of truth. He argues that behind all the formal methods and specifiable procedures of scientific inquiry lie the informal and tacit operations of the scientistís own mind. Explicit logical processes are effective only as tools, and the rational application of such tools is always a personal performance, an act of ultimate self-reliance. Polanyiís goal is to describe and account for that personal performance." This is from this link: http://www.touchstonemag.com/docs/issues/15.6docs/15-6pg60.html yay, thinking!


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