Michael Polanyi was a Hungarian chemist who became a philosopher after he fled to the UK in the early 1900s. He is the father of John Polanyi, the Nobel prize winning chemist of the University of Toronto. Together with Thomas Kuhn, Michael Polanyi has been responsible for introducing into the history and philosophy of science the role of background beliefs in the natural sciences. But Polanyi is by far the more profound thinker and he is not a relativist as Thomas Kuhn has been perceived to be. Polanyi has certainly has a great deal of influence on my own thinking about science from a Christian perspective. He puts meat on the claim that presuppositions have shaped the content of scientific knowledge. A good source on Polanyi's relevance for Christian faith is:
- Torrance, Thomas F. Belief in Science and in Christian Life: The Relevance of Michael Polanyi's Thought for Christian Faith and Life. Edinburgh: The Handsel Press, 1980.
- Polanyi, M. Science, Faith and Society. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 1946.
- Polanyi, M. The Tacit Dimension. Garden City, New York: Doubleday. 1966.
- Polanyi, M. and Prosch, H. Meaning. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 1975.
Jitse M. van der Meer