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Is Science Very Different from Religion? A Polanyian Perspective

Priyan Dias
S & CB 22 (1)
April 2010


Polanyi argued that science had to be pursued as a personal passion within a fiduciary framework. His writings are used to demonstrate that science is not completely different from religion, although it is made out to be. Science and religion both use faith in order to act. Science, like religion, has indispensable subjective elements too, but that need not and does not preclude objectivity. In addition, science itself is often dogmatic and has a set of core commitments that do not change, similar to the core beliefs in religions. Finally, although science seeks the assent of all its practitioners while people are divided into many religions, there are times when science is and perhaps should be pursued within differing and even competing schools of thought.

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