Two sources of Michael Polanyi`s prototypal notion of incommensurability: Evans-Pritchard on Azande witchcraft and St Augustine on conversion

Jacobs, Struan 2003, Two sources of Michael Polanyi`s prototypal notion of incommensurability: Evans-Pritchard on Azande witchcraft and St Augustine on conversion, History of the human sciences, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 57-76.

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Title Two sources of Michael Polanyi`s prototypal notion of incommensurability: Evans-Pritchard on Azande witchcraft and St Augustine on conversion
Author(s) Jacobs, Struan
Journal name History of the human sciences
Volume number 16
Issue number 2
Start page 57
End page 76
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2003
ISSN 0952-6951
1461-720X
Keyword(s) conversion
incommensurability
science
witchcraft
world-view
Summary Michael Polanyi argues in Personal Knowledge (1958) that conceptual frameworks involved in major scientific controversies are separated by a `logical gap'. Such frameworks, according to Polanyi (1958: 151), are logically disconnected: their protagonists think differently, use different languages and occupy different worlds. Relinquishing one framework and adopting another, Polanyi's scientist undergoes a `conversion' to a new `faith'. Polanyi, in other words, presaged Kuhn and Feyerabend's concept of incommensurability. To what influences was Polanyi subject as he developed his concept of the logical gap? The answer, as unfolded in this article, is twofold: Evans-Pritchard's Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande and the Confessions of St Augustine.
Language eng
Field of Research 220299 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2003, SAGE Publications
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30001919

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Social and International Studies
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