Dr. Skowroński, Contemporary Polish Philosophy (for foreign students)

 

 

  1. The Specificity of Polish Philosophy
  2. An Outline of the History of Polish Philosophy
  3. Malinowski and Functionalism
  4. Znaniecki and Humanistic Coefficient
  5. Lvov-Warsaw School
  6. Kotarbiński (Autonomous Ethics. Praxeology. Reism)
  7. Polish Aesthetics in the 20th century (Tatarkiewicz)
  8. Ingarden and the Literary Work of Art
  9. Elzenberg and the Perfective Value
  10. Witkacy and the Form
  11. Gombrowicz and Literary Philosophy
  12. Kołakowski and the dilemma of the Cultural Relativism
  13. Bauman and Post-Modern Philosophy

 

Details and sources:

 

                                      1. The Specificity of Polish Philosophy

   

A

Generally, although not exclusively, the character of Polish philosophy has been pessimistic rather than optimistic, static rather than dynamic, spiritual rather than naturalistic, speculative rather than empirical,

 

 

Firstly, the strong cultivation of the metaphysical tradition taken from Plato, Aristotle, and the Scholastics along with the classical concept of truth and the objective understanding of values that was predominant in the mainstream of Polish philosophy.

 

Secondly, the traditional Catholic background of Poland and the very strong impact of this background upon Polish thought.

 

Thirdly, the national and messianic rather than communal and practical dimension of social and political thought in Poland.

 

Fourthly, the strong influence of German philosophy, especially Hegel and Kant.

 

Fifthly, Polish thinkers at that time did not speak English as their second language (usually it was German) and thought of  Germany, and also France as the source of a philosophical inspiration.

 

Sixthly, Poland, until 1918 was politically and economically under partition and the energy of the then intelligentsia was focused upon the preservation of the national culture as well as upon seeking the ways for cultural independence rather than exploring unknown ideas from distant lands, although this happened too.

 

Seventhly, even under partition, Poland still rejoiced a hundreds year old native philosophical tradition, present first of all at the universities in Cracow (founded in 1364), in Vilnius (1579), in Lvov (1661), and Warsaw (1816), and the cultivation of the heritage and the reference to the past masters prevailed, at least in philosophy, over the search for the new solutions.

 

B. Example, Problems with absorption of Pragmatism

 

 

 

C. Contemporary Polish Philosophy starting with

 

1895 – Twardowski (1866-1938) comes to Lvov and starts his work over there

1897 – Władysław Weryho (1868-1916) founded “Przegląd Filozoficzny”

1904 – He founded the Polish Philosophical Association in Lvov

1911 – “Ruch Filozoficzny” founded by Twardowski in Lvov

 

 

 

See for more: http://www.fmag.unict.it/~polphil/PolHome.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                   2. An Outline of the History of Polish Philosophy

 

Polish Philosophy till the 20th

 

Main Universities: Cracow, Vilnius, Lvov, Warsaw

 

Philosophy outside of Academia

 

Polish Emigration in France

 

Tragic Situation of Polish Intelligentsia

 

Political partition till 1918

 

WWII (Katyn, Auschwitz),

 

Communism (Stalinism, 1968)

 

Main Philosophical Schools and Personages in Poland till the 1970s

 

Lvov-Warsaw School of Philosophy (originally in Lvov and Warsaw, later in all universities)

 

Roman Ingarden (Jagiellonian Univeristy, Cracow)

 

Thomism (Catholic University of Lublin)

 

Marxism

 

Henryk Elzbenberg (Vilnius and, after WWII, Torun)

 

Florian Znaniecki (Poznan)

 

 

The Present Situation

 

Leszek Kołakowski (Warsaw, after 1968 in Oxford)

 

Zygmunt Bauman (Warsaw, after 1968 in Leeds)

 

Post-Modern influences

 

The Role of Religion (Catholic Theology Faculties in almost all universities)

 

 A New Role of the Intelligentsia after the Collapse of Communism

 

 

See for more: http://www.fmag.unict.it/~polphil/PolPhil/Schools.html and

http://www.fmag.unict.it/~polphil/PolPhil/ShortHist.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                  3. Bronislaw Malinowski and Functionalism.

 

Various methodologies for explanation of the social, anthropological, and social facts:

 

--- from the point of view of the development and its rules (Evolutionism or Evolutionary anthropology)

 

--- from the point of view of the influences and spread of cultural items, such as ideas, technologies, lifestyles, religions both within a single culture and across cultures (Diffusionism or Diffusion Anthropology)

 

--- from the point of view of the fixed structures of various areas of culture: language, myths, morality, social habits (Structuralism)

 

--- from the point of view of functions (Functionalism or Functional Anthropology, 1926)

 

Assumptions of Functionalism:

-- Functional character of the social phenomena

---The fundamental role of empirical studies (rather than speculations)

---Holistic character of cultural phenomena (we cannot isolate the phenomena under investigation); e.g. while studying social institutions we have to take into account the whole social system rather than its part.

 

Phonology

Incest taboo

Rituals

Religions

Myths

Social institutions

 

Participant Observation Anthropology vs off the verandah anthropology

 

The final goal of which an anthropologist should never lose sight is to grasp the native's point of view, his relation to life, to realize his vision of this world.

 

 

See for more: http://www.revision-notes.co.uk/revision/625.html

 

     

 

          

                                  4. Znaniecki and Humanistic Coefficient

   

Problems with Political and Cultural Conflicts. Misrepresentation of Reality.

 

Cognition and the Cultural Influences and Political Propaganda

 

Objective Truth. Platonism, Phenomenology

 

Problem of values: objective or subjective? Absolute or Relative?

 

Pure Reality vs. Social Reality

 

Social Activity rather than Individual Passivity

 

Social Action: social relationship; loyalty, social roles, groups, etc.

 

Humanistic Approach.

 

Humanistic Co-Efficient (coefficient in tr: Katsayi)

 

           Values, objects of culture, ideas are always somebody’s (not nobody’s)

 

 

See for more:   http://www.lrz-muenchen.de/~Prof.Helle/znaniecki1.htm  and

http://www.fmag.unict.it/~polphil/PolPhil/Znan/Znanie.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                     5. Lvov-Warsaw School of Philosophy

Founder:

 

Kazimierz Twardowski (his arrival in Lvov in 1895). As his eminent disciple said, Twardowski "stopped producing theories and devoted himself to forming brains".

 

Representatives:

 

Over 80 scholars in philosophy, logic, philology, sociology, and psychology; the most famous: Tarski, Kotarbinski, Ajdukiewicz, Czezowski, Tatarkiewicz,

 

Place and Time:

 

Lvov and Warsaw (since the 1930s also other Polish Universities). 1895 till the 1970s (acme the 1930s)

 

Philosophical Disciplines:

 

Philosophical logic, mathematics, semantics, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, history of philosophy, ontology, epistemology, methodology; also ethics, aesthetics, axiology.

 

Character:

 

No strictly defined corpus of theses; thus, pluralism of philosophical positions amongst the representatives of the movement; strong reference to history of philosophy.

 

Clarity of thinking, precision in language, and profound analysis of notions in order to eliminate misunderstandings of meaning and confusions in terminology.

 

Philosopher should be well educated in philosophy and, additionally, in another discipline.

 

Philosophical positions taken negatively:

 

Anti-psychologism, anti-sociologism, anti-skepticism, anti-irrationalism, and anti-relativism,

 

Philosophical positions taken positively:

 

Rationalism in methodology (the elevated role of science), objectivism (in values), empiricism (role of experience and sensory perception), realism (the world in independent rather dependent from the mind).

 

Philosophical Affiliation.

 

Analytic Philosophy, Vienna Circle, Neo-Positivism

 

Critics:

 

Henryk Elzenberg: too much clarity in terminology and too much discipline in thinking makes it hardly possible for us to create new ideas and fresh worldviews.

 

 

See for more:   http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/lvov-warsaw/

                     

 

 

 

 

                                6. Tadeusz Kotarbiński

 

Autonomous Ethics: independent from religion and ideology. Key notions: guardianship (the idea of a protective guardian)

 

 

Praxeology (in methodology): a discipline that deals with efficient activities. Key terms: target or aim or purpose of action/activity, efficiency or effectiveness of action/activity, economy of action/activity

 

 

Reism (in ontology) or Concretism or Somatism: “inasmuch as it is possible try to formulate statements in a way that would eliminate all names other than the names of objects, that is, physical bodies or parts thereof.”

 

Reism declares war against the hypostasis of linguistic origin, e.g. “roundness”,

 

 

See for more: http://www.fmag.unict.it/~polphil/PolPhil/Kotar/Kotar.html

 

              

 

 

                        7. Tatarkiewicz and Polish Aesthetics in the 20th century

 

 

I. Polish Contemporary Aesthetics

Ingarden

Tatarkiewicz as a Historian of Aesthetics (The History of Six Ideas, History of Aesthetics)

Elzenberg

Ossowski

Witkacy

 

Also Witwicki, Wallis

Also Gombrowicz, Miłosz

 

 

II. Tatarkiewicz: Aesthetic Experience (Skupienie i marzenie, Droga przez estetykę)

 

Aesthetic Approach or Stance vs. Aesthetic Experience (no big difference in Tatarkiewicz)

 

Should it (they) be:

 

Intellectual and theoretical (university education needed) or sensuous (or sensual) and practical?

 

Passive or Active

 

            e.g. contemplation: disinterested approach or engaged?

                   perception: passive or active?

 

 

III. Tatarkiewicz’s pluralism in Aesthetics:

 

No one universal model of aesthetic experience/stance or approach due to a variety of styles and types of arts (painting, literature, poetry).

 

See for more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C5%82adys%C5%82aw_Tatarkiewicz

 

 

 

 

                                       8. Roman Ingarden and the Literary Work of Art

 

1. Problems of Ontology of Arts:

values,

space,

time,

existence,

reality

 

 

2. The mode of existence of literary work of art in Ingarden:

Intentional formation

Derived from the sentence forming activities of the author(s)

Some ideal meanings of the words attached

 

3. The anatomy of literary work of art in Ingarden

Word sounds and phonetic formations

Meaning units

Schematized aspects

Represented entities

 

4. The role of the “metaphysical qualities” in the literary work of art

 

5. Ingarden in Polish philosophy

 

 

See for more: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ingarden/  and                  http://www.formalontology.it/ingardenr.htm

 

 

 

                           9. Henryk Elzenberg and the Perfective Value

 

I. Philosophy of Values and its Meaning

 

II. Axiology in European Philosophy:

Austrian School (Brentano, Meinog, Ehrenfels)

Phenomenogy (Scheler, Hartmann, Ingarden)

Baden Neo-Kantians (Rickert, Windelband)

Neo-Realism (G.E. Moore)

 

III. Axiology in Polish Philosophy:

Petrażycki,

Znaniecki,

Tatarkiewicz,

Ingarden,

Elzenberg

 

IV. The specificity of Perfective Value

 

V. Elzenberg in Polish Philosophy

 

See for more: http://www.crvp.org/book/Series04/IVA-25/chapter_viii.htm  and   http://skowronski.krzysztof.w.interia.pl/03gb.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.    Witkacy and the Form

 

The Formists

Witkacy and his aesthetics

 

 See for more: http://www.fmag.unict.it/~polphil/PolPhil/Witk/Witk.html

            

11. Witold Gombrowicz and Literary Philosophy

See for more:  http://alangullette.com//lit/gombrowicz/

 

12. Leszek Kołakowski and the dilemma of the Cultural Relativism

See for more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leszek_Ko%C5%82akowski

 

13. Zygmunt Bauman and Post-Modern Philosophy

      See for more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zygmunt_Bauman