I have come to the conclusion that the principle by which the cyclist keeps his balance is not generally known. The rule observed by the cyclist is this. When he starts falling to the right he turns the handlebars to the right, so that the course of the bicycle is deflected along a curve towards the right. This results in a centrifugal force pushing the cyclist to the left and offsets the gravitational force dragging him down to the right. This manoeuvre presently throws the cyclist out of balance to the left, which he counteracts by turning the handlebars to the left; and so he continues to keep himself in balance by winding along a series of appropriate curves. A simple analysis shows that for a given angle of unbalance the curvature of each winding is inversely proportional to the square of the speed at which the cyclist is proceeding.

But does this tell us exactly how to ride a bicycle? No. You obviously cannot adjust the curvature of your bicycle’s path in proportion to the ratio of your unbalance over the square of your speed; and if you could you would fall off the machine, for there are a number of other factors to be taken into account in practice which are left out in the formulation of this rule. Rules of art can be useful, but they do not determine the practice of an art; they are maxims, which can serve as a guide to an art only if they can be integrated into the practical knowledge of the art. They cannot replace this knowledge.

Citat fra Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge: towards a post-critical philosophy. Routlegde & Kegan Paul, London 1958.

En fremragende kritik af videnskabelig objektivitet. Filosofi, erkendelsesteori og videnskabsteori tages ikke rigtig alvorligt mere! Jeg forstår det ikke, men måske er det jer som ikke har forstået det!

Michael Polanyi The International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design

Michael Polanyi (1891 – 1976) erraticimpact.com