Updated: November 17th, 2018.

(Potential) Title

Polányi Károly and his “world life” / A little piece of the “world life” around Polányi Károly

Introduction

  • 2011-2018: A long journey
  • Away with Polanyian superstitions
  • Some practical difficulties that are getting out of hand
    • 1st difficulty: the number and the status of the non-published texts
    • 2d difficulty: linguistic
    • 3d (ex-)difficulty: geografical
    • 4th difficulty: the legitimacy of heirs
    • 5th difficulty: the lost part
      • Lost in the non-translation
      • Eventual loss of documents and grey areas
    • 6th difficulty: the weight of the story of the reading of Polányi and his relation to Marx
      • 1st reason: a time conducive to defectors of Marxism and explanation of the third level of analysis
      • 2d reason: a Lamarckian shrink – make the investment profitable (self-reinforcing)
      • 3d reason: personal affinities of relatives of Polányi Károly with Marxism
  • Announcement of the plan
  • Thanks
  • Instructions / Abbreviations

1. Karl Polanyi’s Research Programme (internal, philosophical point of view)

  • Introduction: Back to Polányi – Is there a thought of Polányi and if so, what is it?
    • 1st explanatory diagram: according to a political angle
      • 1st problem: instrumental use of Polányi
      • 2d problem: a debatable highlight of The great transformation
      • 3d problem: misunderstandings and disguise of Polanyian thinking
    • 2d explanatory diagram: separating differents Polányi Károly
      • “Diachronic” differences
      • “Synchronic” differences
    • 3d explanatory diagram: a thought as “problems solving”
      • An inspirator: Felix Schafer
      • A refusal of labeling a priori Polányi’s thinking
      • Polányi’s problem
  • 1.1. The anthropology
    •  Introduction: the absence of systematicity in his thinking
      • Status of this absence
      • Some thinkers who inspire Polányi and whom he could have taken as an example
    • 1.1.1. A hollow anthropology
      • 1.1.1.1. An anthropology in the filiation of the Gospels
        • 1.1.1.1.1. Presences of the spirit of Jesus in polanyian texts
        • 1.1.1.1.2. Polányi, the spirit of the Jesus of the Gospels and his visible absence
      • 1.1.1.2. The characteristics of this anthropology
        • 1.1.1.2.1. One never solved point: the causality between infrastructure and superstructure
        • 1.1.1.2.2. An (ambiguous) universalism
        • 1.1.1.2.3. A spontaneist anarchism
        • 1.1.1.2.4. The immediacy of human relationships and the problem of objectivations
    • 1.1.2. From the individual (within a community) to the person
      • 1 1.1.2.1. Reconstruction of a physiology and psychology from snatches
      • 1.1.2.2. Individualism, personnalism and humanism
        • 1.1.2.2.1. The individualism against holism
        • 1.1.2.2.2. The individualism as subjectivism
        • 1.1.2.2.3. The individualism as egalitarianism
        • 1.1.2.2.4. The person (the rich individual)
      • 1.1.2.3. First consequences
        • 1.1.2.3.1. An epistemological critic of the formal reason
        • 1.1.2.3.2. An unfinished critique of the notion of (political) economy
  • 1.2. Human relations, the technology and the community
    • 1.2.1. The extensions of the person: family and community
      • 1.2.1.1. Family, sexuality and conservatism/naturalism on Polányi’s thinking
      • 1.2.1.2. Human relations and the community
      • 1.2.1.3. The apories of Polányi facing Modernity
    • 1.2.2. Science, technology and the Machine
      • 1.2.2.1. Polanyian critic of industrialization
      • 1.2.2.2. Historical schemes
        • 1.2.2.2.1. The medium-term scheme or pathological degeneration pattern of the “market society”
        • 1.2.2.2.2. The long-term scheme or scheme of Revelations
  • 1.3. Calculus, the rationality and the society
    • 1.3.1. Problems of calculus and quantification
      • 1.3.1.1. The refusal of quantification, an anthropologic vision
      • 1.3.1.2. Evolution of the reflection on the calculation (Zurechnungsproblem)
        • 1.3.1.2.1. The problem of calculus in political economy with “Western” tools (1922-1946)
        • 1.3.1.2.2. The Great Transformation as tipping point
        • 1.3.1.2.3. The problem resumed or abandoned by the yardstick of a larger scale (1947-1964)
      • 1.3.1.3. The calculus against the human relation
    • 1.3.2. Against the formal rationality (generally)
      • 1.3.2.1. Modalities of formal and material rationalities
      • 1.3.2.2. An exacerbated Austriacism?
      • 1.3.2.3. Towards a veterostrian paradigm
    • 1.3.3. Not founded good rationality and society
      • 1.3.3.1. In search of a catallactic and not a type of (political) ‘economy’
        • 1.3.3.1.1. What to keep of Polányi and his substantivism
        • 1.3.3.1.2. Catallactic and renewal of categories
        • 1.3.3.1.3. A continuum in human activity
      • 1.3.3.2. The catallactic: a science of catallaxical orders
        • 1.3.3.2.1. What is an exchange?
        • 1.3.3.2.2. Catallactic is not just a science of exchanges
        • 1.3.3.2.3. Different ways of allocating wealth and their use
      • 1.3.3.3. In search of a political model to think society

2. Karl Polanyi as Sophist

  • 2.1. General principles of Polanyian sophistic
    • 2.1.1. Texts with a blurred status, built as editorials
      • 2.1.1.1. The ambiguous status of his project and texts
      • 2.1.1.2. Polanyian sophistic
      • 2.1.1.3. Editorial technics
      • 2.1.1.4. No coherence from one text to another nor, sometimes, within a text
      • 2.1.1.5. An undemanding audience from where intellectual laziness
    • 2.1.2. Rhetoric of intimidation by evidence
      • 2.1.2.1. Argument of authority, truncation of thoughts and inheritances both selective and rhetorical
      • 2.1.2.2. The forelock-camouflage
      • 2.1.2.3. Naturalistic sophism and petition of principle
      • 2.1.2.4. Dishonesty vis-à-vis the interlocutor
        • 2.1.2.4.1. Involve people in their schemes without asking them anything
        • 2.1.2.4.2. To imply the madness or immaturity of the interlocutor
    • 2.1.3. Polanyian polylogism
      • 2.1.3.1. Seeming of formal logic and apriorism
      • 2.1.3.2. The loss of the reader by densification of the affirmations
      • 2.1.3.3. Hermeticism of italics
      • 2.1.3.4. Non-scientific empiricism and sources incompatibilities
      • 2.1.3.5. Theft of concepts
      • 2.1.3.6. The mix of genres
        • 2.1.3.6.1. Who is he inspired by?
        • 2.1.3.6.2. How to think this mix of genres?
  • 2.2. Two examples: embeddedness and the fictitious commodities
    • 2.2.1. Economy and society (embeddedness)
      • 2.2.1.1. Two versions of the theme: as separation and as inversion of hierarchies
      • 2.2.1.2. Political problem of the unity of a society
      • 2.2.1.3. Epistemological problem of the distinction of economy and politic
    • 2.2.2. Fictitious commodities sophism
      • 2.2.2.1. Reel and fictitious commodities for Polányi
      • 2.2.2.2. Problematic heterogeneity of the three “fictitious commodities” and the abandonment of the theme
      • 2.2.2.3. A problem specific to the “market society”?
      • 2.2.2.4. How does this distinction relate to the idea of scarcity?
    • 2.2.3. The solidarity of the two themes

3. Karl Polanyi embedded (external, historical point of view)

  • Intro: “Hamlet” [1954] as a resignation letter?
    • Methodological problem: how to speak about the occult?
      • What can be said in university
      • To say something about the invisible and the unspeakable
      • Counterfeiters and ignorants
  • [To be continued…]

Ex Intro:

  • 4th problem: the lack of systematicity in his thinking
    • Status of this lack
    • Thinkers that inspired Polányi and which he could have taken as an example

Conclusion

  • Problems not solved by Polányi
  • Tracks that remain open

Appendices / Working Notes / Tracks for further developments

A. Relations between Polányi and some people

  • A1. Relatives
    • A1.1. Pollaczek Mihály (Hamlet and Jesus)
    • A1.2. Cecilia Wohl
    • A1.3 Laura, Adolf, Zsófia,Mihály
    • A1.4. Ilona Duczyńska and Kari (Polanyi-)Levitt
  • A2. Close people
    • A2.1. Jászi Oszkár
    • A2.2. ** The connection of Hungarian Jews (Lukács, Szilard, Koestler, Mannheim…)
    • A2.3. ** Felix Schafer
    • A2.4. ** Karl Popper
    • A2.5. ** Abraham Rotstein
    • A2.6. Rosemary Arnold
  • A3. Sources of inspiration
    • A3.1. Aristotle
    • A3.2. Molière, Shakespeare, Goethe
    • A3.3. Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    • A3.4. Robert Owen
    • A3.5. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
    • A3.6. Karl Marx
    • A3.7. Leo Tolstoy
    • A3.8. ** Werner Sombart (1863-1941) and German formalists of the end of XIXth / beginning of XXth centuries?
    • A.3.9. Rudolf Steiner
    • A3.10. Max Weber and Carl Menger
    • A3.11. Ludwig von Mises
    • A3.12. The Austrian School generally (Weber, Menger, von Böhm-Bawerk, von Wieser, Hans Mayer, von Mises, Hayek)
    • A3.13. North-american institutionnalists
  • A4. The financiers and sponsors
    • A4.1. In Hungary and Austria: everything with the Freemasonry (1908-1921)
    • A4.2. What Polányi did during Béla Kun regime?
    • A4.3. ** The Fabian Society and Bailliol College (Webbs, Shaw, H.G. Wells)
    • A4.4. ** The Workers Educational Association and the Christian Left
    • A4.5. ** New Britain and Dimitrije Mitrinovic
    • A4.6. Victor Gollancz
    • A4.7.  Ford, Rothschild, Carnegie Founds
    • A4.8. In Bennington, Vermont: The Great Transformation, a command book? (1941-1943)
    • A4.9. Columbia years: an (involuntary?) agent of the CIA? (1947-1958)
  • A5. The thinkers with whom to compare him
    • A5.1. Ignác Martinovics, Jakob Böhme and Jan Amos Komenský (Comenius)
    • A5.2. French personnalists
    • A5.3. Karl Mannheim
    • A5.4. Friedrich Hayek
    • A5.5. Michel Foucault and the New Left

B. What has been said about Polányi since his death

  • B1. Themes of the secondary literature
  • B2. International conferences on Polányi Károly

C. Note on the status of the Polányi’s texts

  • C1. Thematics in secondary literature
  • C2. International Conferences on Karl Polányi