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Knowledge, tacit

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-P048-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 23, 2024, from

Article Summary

Tacit knowledge is a form of implicit knowledge we rely on for both learning and acting. The term derives from the work of Michael Polanyi (1891–1976) whose critique of positivistic philosophy of science grew into a fully developed theory of knowledge. Polanyi believed that the ‘scientific’ account of knowledge as a fully explicit formalizable body of statements did not allow for an adequate account of discovery and growth. In his account of tacit knowledge, knowledge has an ineliminable subjective dimension: we know much more than we can tell. This notion of tacit knowing in science has been developed by Thomas Kuhn, has figured prominently in theoretical linguistics and has also been studied in psychology.

Citing this article:
Delaney, C.F.. Knowledge, tacit, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-P048-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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