Polen — philosophie und gesellschaft

Studies in East European Thought 42 (3):221-234 (1991)

In the former socialist countries the relation of philosophy to social reality, as shaped by the political interests of the State, must be considered for each particular case with a view to the historical dynamics of its own development. The Polish case is not typical in this regard — it was determined by the failure of forced sovietization at the institutional, cultural level and the maintenance of Poland''s traditional contacts with Western European culture. In this regard Polish universities played an important role since they preserved normal structures of academic activity.Philosophy in Poland has been marked by three currents which managed to rebuff the advances of Marxism. Best known among them is the Lwów-Warsaw school of logic and analytic philosophy. Its contribution is especially important in the methodology of philosophical inquiry and the style of responsible philosophical discourse. Though not a bed of political opposition the school''s members mounted a spiritual opposition to Marxism, especially during the Solidarity period. Catholic philosophy, as represented by the Catholic University of Lublin (KUL), has been and remains a completely independent force in Eastern and Central Europe. Doctrinally, Catholic philosophy in Poland has been divided between a more traditional, dated Thomism and the more progressive circles in Cracow where Western European philosophy, especially phenomenology, existentialism, and hermeneutics, has been influential (the significance of Józef Tischner and Karol Wojtyla, now Pope Jean Paul II). The third major current, centered in Cracow, is the phenomenology of Roman Ingarden, whose influence is manifest in a style of philosophizing that has attracted professional philosophers as well as committed intellectuals from different disciplines.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00818791
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