Beyond Confirmation

Expanding Beauty’s Place in Michael Polanyi’s Epistemology

In: Evangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology
Jessica J. Schroeder Denver Seminary USA Littleton, Colorado

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While Michael Polanyi’s epistemology is fruitful for considering beauty’s epistemological significance, this article shows that Polanyi’s epistemology lacks explicit development of an important aspect of beauty’s contribution to knowledge formation—as mediator. The treatment unfolds by first assessing how Polanyi does treat beauty, and second by establishing the grounds for beauty to serve as a mediator, as well as its fittingness within a Polanyian epistemology. The article considers an expansion of Polanyi’s epistemology to further and more clearly elucidate beauty as mediator of knowledge. Concluding remarks consider how beauty as mediator of knowledge opens the door to pursuit of questions regarding beauty’s role in theological epistemology—i.e., in mediating knowledge of God specifically.

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