Aristotle meets Polanyi: exploring the tacit dimension of practical wisdom

Alan Tait, Jim Johnston

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This paper looks to explore the tacit dimension of practical wisdom or phronesis. It shows that recently the tacit dimension has been increasingly taken-for-granted in discussions of practical wisdom. Through a comparison of the work of Aristotle and Polanyi it shows that tacit knowledge is not a form of practical judgement, a process guided by practical judgement or a component of the knowledge that results from practical knowledge. Instead, it shows that it is one half of an ongoing process of action whereby an actor continuously draws particulars from experience based on his or her view of the good life – particulars which are then integrated to form a conception of the good life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings from the 2016 British Academy of Management Conference
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBritish Academy of Management
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780954960896
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2016


  • phronesis
  • tacit knowledge
  • practical wisdom


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