An Early Reception of the Scottish Enlightenment In Poland

Stefan Zabieglik
Gdansk Technical University
The philosophy of Scottish Enlightenment became popular in Poland at the turn of 18th and 19th centuries due to its conciliatory nature characteristic for the mentality of our philosophers of that epoch. Th e central for that philosophy category of common sense was not identical with the French bon sens opposed both to fi deism of theologians and to metaphysical subtleties of the 17th century philosophical systems. In the period of breakthrough between the Polish Enlightenment and Romanticism the category of common sense, popular sense based upon common experience and intuition acquired an unusual popularity, since it reconciled two intellectual formations – the disappearing one and the succeeding one.The initiators in spreading Scottish philosophy in Poland were the brothers Czartoryski and the following, associated with them thinkers: Karol Sienkiewicz who propagated pre-romantic Ossianism; Krystyn Lach-Szyrma who propagated the ideas of D. Stewart; Michał Wiszniewski, who was a pupil of Th. Reid, this one considered to be a founder of the Scottish school of common sense philosophy; Jan Śniadecki, who declaring himself for the “Scottish School” criticized both Kant and the French materialists
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