Important or crucial in this viewpoint
Incompatible or not necessary in this viewpoint
Key points that push me to follow the trail of the ghost author


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A human research… all too human
The problematic status of relatives and victims
Good, old fools and bad, new fools
New marginal speeches
The esotericism or the supernatural
The “parasciences”
Non-republicans domains (religious and forbidden history)
Junction of literatures
To say something about the invisible and the unspeakable
Counterfeiters and ignorants
Announcement of the plan
Instructions / Abbreviations

First part

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1.1. Of the past let us make a clean slate
1.1.1. 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-)difficuly: geografical 4th difficulty: the legitimity of heirs 5th difficulty: the lost part Lost in the non-translation Eventual loss of documents and grey areas “Hamlet” [1954]: a text à clef? 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
1.1.2. Back to Polányi
1.2. Is there a thought of Polányi and if so, what is it?
1.2.1. 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
1.2.2. 2d explanatory diagram: separating differents Polányi Károly “Diachronic” differences “Synchronic” differences
1.2.3. 3d explanatory diagram: a thought as “problems solving” An inspiration: Felix Schafer A refusal of labeling a priori Polányi’s thinking Polányi’s problem

Second part

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

Third part

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Introduction: the lack of systematicity in his thinking
Status of this lack
Thinkers that inspired Polányi and which he could have taken as an example
3.1. The anthropology
3.1.1. A hollow anthropology An anthropology in the filiation of the Gospels Presences of the spirit of Jesus in polanyian texts Polányi, the spirit of the Jesus of the Gospels and his visible absence The characteristics of this anthropology One never solved point: the causality between infrastructure and superstructure An (ambiguous) universalism A spontaneist anarchism The immediacy of human relationships and the problem of objectivations
3.1.2. From the individual (within a community) to the person Reconstruction of a physiology and psychology from snatches Individualism, personnalism and humanism The individualism against holism The individualism as subjectivism The individualism as egalitarianism The person (the rich individual) First consequences An epistemological critic of the formal reason An unfinished critique of the notion of (political) economy
3.2. Human relations, the technology and the community
3.2.1. The extensions of the person: family and community Family, sexuality and conservatism/naturalism on Polányi’s thinking Human relations and the community The apories of Polányi facing Modernity
3.2.2. Science, technology and the Machine Polanyian critic of industrialization Historical schemes The medium-term scheme or pathological degeneration pattern of the “market society” The long-term scheme or scheme of Revelations
3.3. Calculus, the rationality and the society
3.3.1. Problems of calculus and quantification The refusal of quantification, an anthropologic vision Evolution of the reflection on the calculation (Zurechnungsproblem) The problem of calculus in political economy with “Western” tools (1922-1944) The Great Transformation as tipping point The problem resumed or abandoned by the yardstick of a larger scale (1934-1964) The calculus against the human relation
3.3.2. Against the formal rationality (generally) Modalities of formal and material rationalities An exacerbated Austriacism?
3.3.3. Not founded good rationality and society In search of a catallactic and not a type of (political) ‘economy’ What to keep of Polányi and his substantivism Catallactic and renewal of categories A continuum in human activity The catallactic: a science of catallaxical orders What is an exchange? Catallactic is not just a science of exchanges Different ways of allocating wealth and their use In search of a political model to think society


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Problems not solved by Polanyi
Tracks that remain open

Appendices / Working Notes / Tracks for further developments

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A. Relations between Polányi and some people
A1. Relatives
A1.1. Pollaczek Mihály (Hamlet and Jesus)
A1.2. Ilona Duczyńska and Kari (Polanyi-)Levitt
A1.3. Jászi Oszkár
A1.4. Rosemary Arnold
A2. Sources of inspiration
A2.1. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
A2.2. Karl Marx
A.2.3. Rudolf Steiner
A2.4. Max Weber and Carl Menger
A2.5. Ludwig von Mises
A2.6. The Austrian School generally (Weber, Menger, von Böhm-Bawerk, von Wieser, Hans Mayer, von Mises, Hayek)
A2.7. North-american institutionnalists
A2.8. Sombart and German formalists of the end of XIXth / beginning of XXth centuries
A3. The financiers and sponsors1
A3.1. In Hungary and Austria: everything with the Freemasonry (1908-1921)
A3.2. In Bennington, Vermont: The Great Transformation, a command book? (1941-1943)
A3.3. Columbia years: an (involuntary?) agent of the CIA? (1947-1958)
A4. The thinkers with whom to compare him
A4.1. Ignác Martinovics, Jakob Böhme and Jan Amos Komenský (Comenius)
A4.2. French personnalists
A4.3. Friedrich Hayek
A4.4. 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
D. Table of correspondence of the pages of the different editions of The Great Transformation
  1. I put this content, enriched with new points, in “ 5th difficulty: the lost part”. I let the trace of this subsection here, only in case of future developments, if these points become too important and rich in details, weighing the progress of the statement in the first part.