Philosophy and Ideology. Z. A. Jordan 1963
Poland suffered grave losses of human life during the German occupation and these included more than two thousand scientists, scholars, artists, men of letters, and members of the professional classes, who were either shot by the firing squads of the German army or perished in concentration camps. Philosophers constituted a large group of those who were deliberately exterminated. The generation which grew up in the inter-war period might be described with some reason as a missing generation. In the Warsaw rising (1944) many graduates and young research workers, some of them of great promise, were killed in the fighting against the Germans or fell victim to atrocities inflicted upon the population of the devastated but unconquered city. Many libraries were destroyed or removed to Germany. Individuals suffered similar losses to their private book collections and to manuscripts of works prepared for publication.
The war left Poland not only in ruins, but also with changed frontiers. There were six universities in Poland before the outbreak of the war, of which four have remained within her post-war boundaries – the universities in Warsaw, Cracow, Poznań, and the Catholic University in Lublin, colloquially called ‘KUL’. Of these, the University of Warsaw ceased to exist physically, and only one, Cracow University, was untouched by the devastation of war. To these, four others were added immediately after the war to make, at present, eight in all. New universities were set up in Łód", Toruń, Wrocław, and in Lublin, where a State university exists side by side with K U L.
The situation after the Second World War was not unlike that after the First. At that time Twardowski’s pupils scattered throughout Poland and were appointed to the chairs of philosophy at practically all the universities. The same happened after the Second World War. Leśniewski’s, Łukasiewiczs, Kotarbiński’s, and Ajdukiewicz’s disciples moved to the old and new universities to teach there in the manner they had been taught themselves in Warsaw and Lwów.
For the first two post-war years Łód" was the intellectual capital of Poland. Many leading members of the Warsaw school taught logic, methodology, ethics, sociology and aesthetics at Łód" University before most of them moved back to Warsaw. The Warsaw school was strongly represented at the new universities in Wroclaw and Toruń. The chairs of logic and philosophy at Cracow and Poznań University were also held by members of this school. Generally speaking, the Warsaw school regained its academic ascendancy and no other trend could effectively challenge it. Its past achievements were admired, its intellectual standards were accepted, its philosophical methods were applied in university teaching and adopted by the younger generation of philosophy students irrespective of what particular philosophical views they had adhered to or were to adhere to in the future.
The end of hostilities of the Second World War was followed by an upsurge of energy. Teaching was resumed at once, contacts with international philosophical bodies were re-established. The philosophical associations were revived at the old and founded at the new universities. Some old textbooks were republished, often in mimeographed form, and new works soon started appearing.
There were five philosophical periodicals in Poland before the war: Przegląd Filozoficzny (Warsaw) and Kwartalnik Filozoficzny (Cracow), which published contributions on any philosophical subject; Ruch Filozoficzny (Lwów) which provided abstracts and bibliography of philosophical publications, both Polish and foreign; Studia Philosophica (Lwów) for the publication of articles in one of the ‘world languages’; and Collectanea Logica a periodical devoted entirely to logic and its history, founded in 1938, of which the first issue was ready on the outbreak of the war and was destroyed during the siege of Warsaw in 1939. Of these five periodicals the first four were revived in the period 1946-1948.
Sociology had a more difficult start. Of all the research institutes existing before the war only the Sociological Institute was revived in Łód" in 1945. Under its auspices the publication of Przegl?d Socjologiczny was resumed in 1946. The Institute of Social Economy, the Institute of Rural Economy and the Institute of Social Affairs lost their leading members, who either died or perished and there were no successors to take their places. Of the older generation of sociologists Czarnowski died before the war, Krzywicki during the war, and Znaniecki was away in the U.S.A. from whence he never returned. Thus, the responsibility for the fortunes of sociology has fallen squarely on to the shoulders of the younger generation brought up during the inter-war period. The ranks of sociologists shrank considerably owing to the heavy and tragic losses.
The revival of sociology was, however, remarkable, nourished by a widespread interest in the theoretical and practical aspects of sociology. Some of the ablest undergraduates were attracted by it and the departments of sociology, whose number increased from three before 1939 to five after the war, were busy with hundreds of students. The programme of teaching was closely integrated with social research and some large-scale projects were launched.
łód" became the most important sociological centre of teaching and research after the war. This was due to Chałasiński and Szczepański (born 1913) who have both been teaching there. Round them a large group of young research workers has grown up, some of whom soon began to make a name for themselves in Polish sociology.
Warsaw was the second sociological centre. The head of the sociology department has been Ossowski, the outstanding authority in Poland on the theory and methodology of the social sciences. In response to public needs he organised a research organisation at Warsaw University. It was Ossowski who with some of his students and assistants undertook field work in the Western territories. The sociological and philosophical revival was a reassertion of trends existing before the war and the first works published continued the developments interrupted by the invasion of the country in 1939. Among the first post-war publications were new textbooks in formal logic which continued to be considered the best introduction to philosophical thinking and an indispensable instrument in every field of knowledge. The rising temperature of philosophical discussions, increasingly distorted by political considerations, gave to the diffusion of logical knowledge a special importance. Articles on logic, its function and purposes, published at that time, had a ring of Socrates’ teaching. They emphasised that there is no knowledge without making our speech and thoughts precise and no chance of avoiding errors without the ability to differentiate a valid from an invalid reasoning; that confused thinking is misleading in a variety of ways and that logic sharpens our criticism and points out right courses of action. The confusion created among the uninformed by the claim of Marxist-Leninist philosophy that besides formal logic there existed dialectical logic, the former being the particular case of the latter, produced the demand for the popularisation of logic. This was not forgotten, but teaching of logic was considered a more important task than its popularisation. The latter was expanded and developed only in the ‘fifties, when some excellent books of this kind were published, in particular, Grzegorczyk Popular Logic and Decision Problems. A popular book on logical errors commonly made in everyday life and scientific practice, on the lines of L. S. Stebbing Thinking to Some Purpose, appeared in 1957. Lively written and abundantly illustrated by examples from topical discussions, it was a great success and had soon to be reprinted.
Four logical textbooks of different levels and for different purposes appeared in quick succession. Kotarbiński Course of Logic, clear, precise and easy to follow, is an elementary introduction to formal and inductive logic, and to general methodology. Originally written for law students, though it is useful for any beginner, it became the pattern for many similar textbooks published in the following years. Wiegner Elements of Formal Logic is narrower in scope, but within these limits it is more advanced. It is strictly confined to formal logic for the use of students at the Faculty of Arts and for students of philosophy in particular. The most comprehensive are Mostowski Mathematical Logic and Czeżowski Logic. In the early ‘fifties Ajdukiewicz and Greniewski produced their own courses of logic of which the first has won a high and deserved reputation for its lucidity, originality and outstanding didactic qualities.
As yet Mostowski Mathematical Logic and Czeżowski Logic are the most important book-form logical publications in the post-war period. As its title indicates, Mathematical Logal presents logic as a means of investigation on mathematical theories in general and on the foundations of mathematics in particular. It is rich in content, highly readable, and inspires a feeling of awe and admiration for the tidy ways of logicians’ procedures. It includes an introduction to the theory of models, gives much space to metalogic, reviews some recent Gödel’s, Tarski’s and Mostowski’s – metalogical results, and ends with Gödel’s celebrated theorem of incompleteness and its philosophical implications concerning the concept of truth in mathematics. Czeżowski’s book is wider in scope; in it philosophical interest predominates over the consideration of the usefulness of logic for mathematical research. Besides the exposition of the classical part of formal logic, it includes the elements of general syntax and semantics, of many-valued logics and probability calculus. A concise and highly instructive survey of the history of logic puts its modern expansion in proper perspective and also shakes up the impression of finality and completeness which modern formal logic might misleadingly convey. Mostowski’s and Czeżowski’s textbooks supplemented each other and together supplied the knowledge necessary for an informed discussion of questions concerning the philosophy of logic.
Ajdukiewicz published an introduction to the theory of knowledge and metaphysics, in which he analysed and elucidated various concepts of these two disciplines and gave a lucid survey of epistemological and metaphysical theories. His own attitude to some of these questions was more closely defined in a number of articles on the relation of logic to experience and on the language of epistemological idealism.
Ajdukiewicz conceived an ingenious idea of applying some results obtained in the philosophy of language to the theory of knowledge. The advantage to be gained from this application is derived from the fact that it is possible to infer from statements formulated in terms of semantical or pragmatical metalanguage statements about things and occurrences referred to in some expressions of the former. Thus, for instance, given the premiss: ‘The statement ‘the flame of sodium is yellow’ is true’, we can infer: ‘The flame of sodium is yellow’. In a similar fashion we can use statements about epistemological sentences, or shorter, epistemological meta-statements, as premisses for the conclusions about things and facts referred to by the sentences which occur in the epistemological metastatements. These inferences are valid provided that the metalanguage comprises besides the names of sentences and expressions also these sentences and expressions themselves. In other words, the necessary condition of valid inference is that we use the metalanguage of semantics and not that of syntax, hence also the name ‘semantical epistemology’.
To see the advantages to be gained from the application of semantical-like methods to the theory of knowledge, and, in particular, to the dispute between epistemological idealism and realism, another preparatory step must be made. The epistemological reflection may be expressed in terms of two basically different languages. We can use a vocabulary which includes only names of representations and no names of objects represented by these ‘thoughts’. This is a syntactical-like metalanguage. We cannot formulate in this syntactical-like metalanguage any problem of the object language, that is to say, to assert anything about the objects designated by the expressions of the object language. On the other hand, we can also express the epistemological reflections in a semantical-like metalanguage, i.e., use a metalanguage that contains the object language. In this case we are able, in principle, to resolve any problem concerning the objects referred to by the expressions of the object language in the same manner as is done by the scientists or any man that speaks the object language. In a semantical-like epistemological metalanguage we have no difficulty in passing from statements about linguistic expressions to those about things described by these linguistic expressions.
Ajdukiewicz suggested and tried to show that the idealist philosophers employ a syntactical-like language and are, therefore, forever barred from being able to assert anything about the things and occurrences designated by the object language. If they do make such assertions, e.g., esse is percipi, their assertions cannot be valid, though “esse’ is ‘percipi” is a valid sentence of their language. For to assert that esse is percipi they would have to make use of the expressions of the object language, which their metalanguage does not contain and in which the assertion is evidently false. The two sentences: “esse’ is ‘percipi” and ‘esse is percipi’ are not equiform and they conform to different sets of rules of meaning. In the object language things are said to exist whether they are or are not perceived or thought of, their being does not depend on their being known. What an epistemological idealist says, purports to refer to the designata of the object language, but it does not, since in his syntac ical-like metalanguage there is no valid manner of passing from syntactical statements to the object statements about spatio-temporal extra-linguistic entities.
It also follows that an epistemological idealist cannot use the expression ‘true sentence’ in the sense determined by the correspondence theory of truth. The assertions: ‘The sun is shining’ is true and “the sun is shining’ is true’, have different meanings. For the latter implies that the sun is shining (what an epistemological idealist cannot state), and the former only indicates that the sentence ‘the sun is shining’ complies with the meaning rules of the language (which for an epistemological realist is a necessary but not sufficient condition of its being true). In the sense which an epistemological idealist Attaches to this term a sentence is true or false if its acceptance or rejection is respectively required by the rules of the language. Conformity with these criteria of truth is usually described as the coherence conception of truth.
Czeżowski provided another textbook-type survey of metaphysics, of its historical origin, its concepts and problems. Czeiowski makes two points. First, that metaphysics is a historically relative concept; what belonged to metaphysics at some time, becomes later a scientific problem as was the case, e.g., with the concepts of time, space, matter, or continuum. Second, that it is not easy to formulate a generally valid criterion by which we can recognise a statement being metaphysical. Consequently, Czeżowski is less concerned with the disqualification of metaphysical statements than with the explanation of the difference between knowledge and mere supposition, between science on the one hand, metaphysics, religious faith or Weltanschauung on the other, as well as of their various respective functions in man’s life. It is not an unpardonable error to make a metaphysical statement. It is a much more serious philosophical offence not to recognise it for what it is.
The question whether there is a criterion or a set of criteria by which the metaphysical character of a given statement can be tested, was taken up by Mehlberg in a number of studies. Generally speaking, both science and metaphysics include unverifiable statements, from which, however, the conclusion should not be drawn that there is no fundamental difference between science and metaphysics. The axioms of geometry, considered as physical hypotheses, are unverifiable; but a physicist does not hold them to be true in the manner which is peculiar to a metaphysician when he utters with conviction the statement: ‘only matter exists’. It is not advisable to restrict excessively the meaning of the expression ‘a testable statement’, because this tendency leads to the condemnation as metaphysical of large parts of science whose further developments have shown them to contain valuable knowledge. A statement might be testable in various ways and Mehlberg tried to distinguish various types of testable statements in the light of Carnap’s, Popper’s, Kokoszyńska’s, Kotarbińska’s, and his own investigations (directly and indirectly, positively and negatively, finistically and inductively, probabilistically and axiomatically testable statements). The concept of confirmability is rich and varied in possibilities and it might be made precise without inflicting an injury on the development of science or implying certain views about the external world unacceptable to common sense. The latter point was exemplified in Mehlberg’s essay on the idealist interpretation of atomic physics. Mehlberg attempted in it to show that idealist conclusions frequently drawn from the quantum physics by physicists and philosophers of science are closely related to the concept of verifiability or testability and that this concept is of crucial importance in the epistemological disputes between epistemological idealism and realism in the interpretation of microphysics.
Mehlberg differentiated various epistemological viewpoints in empirical science by means of the methodological concept of testability. Kokoszyńska tried to define these viewpoints on the ground of Ajdukiewicz’s theory of language. The language is determined by its rules of formation and rules of acceptance, including empirical rules of acceptance in the case of an empirical language. The former provide the basis for the definition of a sentence, the latter for that of an accepted sentence or a theorem of the considered language. It can be shown that the positivism or physicalism of the Vienna Circle, Kotarbiński’s realism, Hume’s idealism and J. S. Mill’s empiricism differ by their conception of a theorem of the language, or, otherwise expressed, that the differences among them can be determined in terms of logical pragmatics. A similar conclusion seemed to have been reached by Grzegorczyk in a more general way when he tried to show how the semantics of a language depends on its pragmatics.
The semiotic concept of a theorem of a language and that of a statement true in this language are not co-extensive. Kokoszyńska adheres to the so-called classical or Aristotelian conception of truth. She has done much to disentangle different ideas inherent in the relativistic theories of truth and to refute them one by one. This allowed her to make more precise the so-called absolute conception of truth, widely accepted in the Warsaw school, and to distinguish its legitimate and unwarranted use. The absolute conception of truth does not imply the view that there are empirical statements which in no circumstances, e.g., given our own or other people’s future experiences, could be rejected, corrected, or changed. The absolute conception of truth is perfectly compatible with the relativity of knowledge, which, speaking freely, makes manifest only the fact that our empirical knowledge grows and improves and that no limit to this growth and improvement can be set. Consequently, a statement p true with respect to empirical data at the time t1, may not be true with respect to empirical data at the time t2. A statement p is true with respect to the language L in which it is formulated. An empirical language L changes and becomes richer together with the extension and improvement of experience data. The fact that a statement p is true at the time t1 and is no longer true, or no longer true without some qualification, at the time t2, does not involve any contradiction or relativisation of the concept of truth, since the language L, in terms of which the statement p is formulated, is in fact in each case a different language.
Five large volumes which appeared in the early post-war period constitute a category apart by the scope of their respective subjects and the excellence of their achievements. All of them are works of a long fruition which dates from pre-war times, they were written during and completed after the war. Some of the manuscripts had a miraculous escape from the destruction of war, others were saved at the risk of their authors’ lives.
The first to be considered is Tatarkiewicz Philosophy of the Nineteenth Century and Contemporary Philosophy, which constitutes the third volume of his History of Philosophy. It was withdrawn from circulation by order of the Communist authorities almost as soon as it was published in 1950. However, it reached a vast number of readers by devious ways and when the ban was lifted in 1956 practically the whole first impression was found to have been ‘sold out’. The severe criticism to which it was subject was due to the fact that Tatarkiewicz did not comply with the requirements established by A. A. Zhdanov in his speech delivered at the conference convened to review G. F. Alexandrov History of Western European Philosophy.
Tatarkiewicz’s work deals with modern and contemporary philosophy from 1830 to 1939 (it includes a summary of the philosophical views of Marx and Engels as well as those of Lenin and Stalin, which is one of the best Polish presentations of Marxian and Marxist-Leninist philosophy) and tries to describe more closely the main lines of its development. Tatarkiewicz carried out this task with thoroughness anderudition which still make his work unique in world literature. It is more comprehensive and provides more information than Bocheński’s Contemporary European Philosophy, the only other publication of this kind. The development of philosophy in the traditional sense is supplemented by four additional chapters devoted to philosophical problems of formal logic and mathematics, physics, psychology and sociology as they emerged from the investigations of the specialists in these sciences. No interpretation and evaluation of the established facts is offered, this being thought to be impossible to achieve at a stroke. Since, however, to be described, facts have to be ordered, grouped together and related to other facts of the past and the present, certain general features of the development emerge and enable us to find bearings in the enormous philosophical production of the last few decades.
The most important of them is the firmly established fact that the beginning of this century constitutes a dividing line between modern and contemporary philosophy. The latter is characterised by a ‘real flood’ of works opening new fields of research, unusual penetration and high technical standards. Contemporary philosophy has been ‘professionalised’ and acquired an international character. There is a mutual interdependence of philosophies evolved in different countries and an increasing effort at co-operation. Contemporary philosophy displays also some mutually exclusive features. On the one hand it is analytic to a degree unknown in the past, on the other it indulges in vertiginous constructions of a Husserl or a Whitehead. It is professional and incomprehensible to the layman, and yet sometimes ready to offer its offices to mass political or social movements. It parcels up philosophical investigations into small and specialised fields of research and thus liquidates philosophy in the traditional sense, and at the same time philosophical problems of great generality and metaphysical nature crop up in the empirical and deductive sciences which used to pride themselves on their freedom from philosophical speculations. A new era has begun, but what this era is and where it leads to is still far from being clear.
By a strange coincidence, it was the manuscript of the treatise On Happiness for which Tatarkiewicz risked a shot in the back to save it from the gutter where it was thrown during a personal search in 1944. This book is not an essay in practical wisdom in the manner of Russell The Conquest of Happiness. Tatarkiewicz was interested in theoretical questions, he wanted to ascertain what meaning the term ‘happiness’ had to different people at different times, on what psychological phenomena the sense of happiness depends, and what are its external and internal necessary conditions. His investigations are concluded by an examination of the ethics of happiness. The procedure adopted by Tatarkiewicz is analytic, descriptive, critical, and not didactic, instructive, and therapeutic. It is an important contribution to moral philosophy notable for its analytic acumen, historical knowledge and breadth of view.
Two more important works on moral philosophy were published in the first post-war years – Ossowska Foundations of the Science of Morals and Human Motivation. Ossowska is a moral scientist trained in the Warsaw school. The term ‘moral scientist’ is no slip of the pen. She wished to initiate a science of morals, free from value judgements, purely descriptive and analytic. Ossowska was not the first to conceive this idea and she recognised her debt to such scholars as Max Weber, Durkheim Lévy-Bruhl, Hobhouse, Westermarck, Schlick and many others. But she brought to this task a considerable logical and methodological skill, combined with a sturdy common sense and a rare ability of understanding other people’s minds. She claimed, not without reason, that scholars who had preceded her, had not been quite clear about what the science of morals is and what they had wished to achieve. Its task is not to reduce ethics to psychology, social psychology or sociology; it is not to provide an empirical substitute for normative ethics; nor to provide a history of moral ideas and moral precepts. As Ossowska saw it, a science of morals is a complex of disciplines, in which at least three constitutive parts should be distinguished: the foundations of the science of morals which deals with the analysis of moral concepts, above all those of moral evaluation and moral norm; the psychology of morals in which besides such problems as psychological origins of morals, types of moral behaviour and its pathology, questions concerning the psychological basis of moral evaluation and the motives of morally qualified behaviour assume the chief place; and the sociology of morals, whose main task is to investigate the social differentiation of morals, its relations to other aspects of social life, its evolution and so-called progress. The unity of the science of morals is provided only by its subject matter. The method applied in each of its main fields of research must be different. It is the method of philosophical analysis, supported by logic and semantics in the first; of psychology, including experimental psychology, in the second; and the sociological and historical methods in the third.
Ossowska’s works deal with problems which belong to the first and second part of the science of morals, with the question of an adequate analytical definition of moral evaluation, with the concept of motive and with various theories of psychological motivation, with the concept of human nature, psychological and ‘factual’ hedonism, egoism and altruism, sympathy, moral sense, conscience, and remorse. They sometimes fail to achieve what they set out to do. For instance, the attempt to define the concept of moral evaluation is not successful, but the reasons of the failure are enlightening and instructive. They always provide a great wealth of careful terminological and conceptual distinctions, help to clearly formulate the investigated problems, reveal new ones, and open new approaches of inquiry.
Tatarkiewicz’s and Ossowska’s contributions to moral philosophy were the most prominent among many others. In contradistinction to the inter-war period, the interest in the questions of morals became very pronounced after 1945. Znamierowski’s major work, in which he expounded his psychological theory of moral evaluations and norms, was ready for publication in 1946. Its printing was delayed and subsequently prohibited by the Communist authorities. With the exception of Marxist-Leninists, philosophers of various schools of thought contributed to philosophical and other periodicals numerous articles dealing with the problems of axiology, ethics, and science of morals.
The work which overshadows all those previously mentioned is Ingarden Controversy over the Existence of the World. It would be premature to it at the present moment; no more than a part of the undertaking which Ingarden set himself has been so far completed. For the time being, therefore, its importance must be evaluated on a provisional basis; only the setting of the problem can be considered, the suggested manner of its solution, and the general significance of its initial results. From these points of view Ingarden’s work on the controversy over the existence of the external world is impressive and prompted the comment that we have in it one of the most significant publications of the present time. It is deplorable that it has been published only in Polish.
The controversy over the existence of the ext ernal world is the ancient problem of idealism versus realism. Since Descartes, it has been widely assumed that the controversy is an epistemological problem. In Ingarden’s opinion this is a wrong assumption; the question whether the external world is independent from the pure consciousness or rather created by it, is a metaphysical one. The doubt about the independent existence of the external world might arise on the ground of epistemological reflexions. It may be, moreover, prompted by ontological considerations; it is inevitable that we have to start from the cogitationes of the philosophising subject and what we call real objects are transcendent to the consciousness. Whatever the origin of this doubt, the questions it puts are essentially existential and neither epistemology nor ontology can provide the ultimate reason for what must necessarily exist.
To give an idea about the way which Ingarden has chosen to solve the dispute between idealism and realism – as a matter of fact, ‘idealism’ and ‘realism’ should be in the plural in this context, because a whole host of various idealisms and realisms is involved in the dispute – two points must be briefly discussed. The controversy is a fundamental one in philosophy; practically nothing philosophically significant can be done unless the controversy is resolved, one way or another. On the other hand, no solution is in sight and the further we go the more intractable the issue becomes, owing to the absence of a systematically and analytically established conceptual framework. It also grows more complicated by the accretions and confusions brought to it by thinkers who before such a frame of reference is ready at hand tried to solve it, as it were, hastily and prematurely. Finally, the lack of a firm solution of the fundamental philosophical question suggests that sometime and somewhere a serious error must have been made. There is little hope of ever discovering it or of making any progress towards the solution unless an attempt is made to see the essential points involved in the dispute between idealism and realism. For this purpose a preparatory work must be undertaken on a broad front. It includes the questions of ontology, metaphysics and epistemology. Only upon the completion of these inquiries can the dispute be clearly formulated and the way of resolving it marked out. The published part of Ingarden’s work did not reach the end of the ontological investigations.
The method applied is ‘transcendental’. Its starting and only point of support is what is given to pure consciousness and what is apprehended in it by immanent perception. Also pure consciousness alone can reveal the cognitive reasons for the acceptance of any non-immanent object in its actuality. The choice of the ‘transcendental’ method was dictated not only by Ingarden’s deference to Husserl – whose philosophy is, in lngarden’s opinion, one of the most important attempts ever made to solve the issue of realism versus idealism – but also by the consideration that it is the only method available in and appropriate to this kind of investigation.
The methods of science provide no assistance. A physicist may consider the question whether matter, in some way given in sense experience, is in fact some kind of substance, whether it is composed of atoms, electrons, protons, and neutrons, which have the kind of reality that belongs to objects of experience and are the ‘carriers’ of physical processes, or whether there is no material substratum of these processes, nothing that changes and what it changes from and to, only complexes of events. An ontologist is interested in problems of quite a different nature. He will ask, for instance, the question whether a process with no material substratum is possible at all and whether there is not a necessary relation between the ‘form’ of the process and the ‘form’ of the thing involved in it. The physicist deals with facts, the ontologist with ‘pure possibilities and necessities’ . Again, a physiologist is interested in finding out what process in the nervous system is causally or otherwise related to a definite psychological phenomenon. Once this is established, he is satisfied with the mere fact that it is so. A metaphysician wants to know how these facts are essentially and necessarily related to each other. A mere fact is not enough to him; he wishes to investigate whether there is any existential, necessary structure and relation by which the facts are bound up together and constitute an intelligible whole. To adopt the method of science in ontology and metaphysics, or to make statements about the non-immanent objects without testing them by the ‘transcendental’ method, would lead nowhere or result in dogmatism of traditional metaphysics. The ‘transcendental’ method is as much justified and appropriate to its realm of problems as observation and experiment are in natural science.
Here the point is reached where doubt about Ingarden’s method raises its head. He makes the claim that by means of it he is able to ascertain what is beyond and over experience and what by its very nature is not accessible to scientific knowledge. Some will doubt whether the controversy over the existence of the external world can ever be solved in that manner. The doubt persists in spite of the way in which Ingarden proceeds with his task, elucidating what he finds, making numerous subtle and enlightening distinctions, pressing hard and effectively upon the sources of information to which he restricted himself. A rich and comprehensive general theory of objects emerges from these investigations, to limit what might exist by ascertaining what is possible and to circumscribe it by revealing what is necessary. Whatever misgivings one may have, no final verdict is, however, possible until the whole undertaking is completed. There is no use pretending that the existence of the external world holds no mystery whatsoever, and, if there is any, that it can be easily explained away as apparent problems created exclusively by the imperfections of speech.
The Catholic University in Lublin – the only Catholic university between Fribourg and Seoul – was the first university in Poland to resume its activities after the end of hostilities. In 1946 a separate Faculty of Christian Philosophy was established at the University. Following the example of Louvain and the French Catholic universities, Christian philosophy has not been confined there to Thomism; all trends in contemporary Catholic philosophy can be taught. Christian philosophy was also one of the subjects at the Theological Faculties of the Warsaw and Cracow universities, which were later closed down to be replaced by a Theological Academy. The Catholic University in Lublin with its Faculty of Christian Philosophy, where both lay and clerical students could study, has become, however, the main centre of Christian philosophy in Poland, competing with Warsaw University as to the number of philosophy students.
The University of Lublin has its own philosophical association and its own publications, including a series of philosophical works. In 1948 there began to appear Roczniki Filozoficzne, a periodical organ of Christian philosophers, which has continued to be published, though intermittently, even when the Communist authorities closed down non-Catholic philosophical periodical publications. In 1958 a quarterly Zeszyty Naukowe KUL started appearing. The latter is not exclusively a philosophical publication, but it gives much space to philosophical subjects. Also the Catholic weekly Tygodnik Powszechny and the monthly Znak, both appearing in Cracow, have made their columns available to popular philosophical articles. This was a sign of the times. One of the by-products of the Marxist-Leninist political ascendancy was an increasing popular interest in and demand for philosophical journalism, which has been flourishing in the weekly press representing various world-outlooks. In the Catholic press philosophical journalism has assumed perhaps an even more prominent place than in the others, such as Ku"nica and Odrodzenie or later Nowa Kultura and Przeglqd Kulturalny. Distinguished Catholic writers and prominent scholars contributed to this activity in Catholic publications.
Like the others, Christian philosophers were above all anxious to provide new textbooks and introductions to Christian and Thomistic philosophy, to its metaphysics and ontology. Pastuszka, who belongs to the Augustinian school of contemporary Catholic philosophy, continued his comparative studies on modern philosophical trends and published a large work on general psychology based on the principles of Christian philosophy. Świeżawski, a prominent lay Catholic thinker, carried on his studies in history of metaphysics. Adam Krzyżanowski published a treatise on Christian ethics. Philosophy of law and formal logic had in Jerzy Kalinowski and Józef Iwanicki able representatives. History of logic, philosophy of science and of Nature attracted much interest (Stanislaw Kamiński, Antoni Korcik, Kazimierz Kłósak, Stanislaw Mazierski). In the early ‘fifties the tradition of the Cracow Circle (a group of prominent Thomist logicians known under this name) was resumed at Lublin University. Under Kalinowski’s leadership discussions and studies were undertaken on whether, and in what way, Thomist metaphysics could benefit by the application of modern methodology, logic and semiotic.
Catholic philosophers were the first to provide an informative and critical survey of Marxism-Leninism, of its philosophical, moral, sociological views, of its theories of State and society. This was done in a popular form and for polemical purposes, but in a fair and objective manner, with a good knowledge of the Marxist-Leninist doctrine, as was recognised by its chief representative. The naturalistic conception of man and society, Marxian ethics and historiosophy were, obviously enough, the main points of controversy and polemics. Later dialectical materialism became the subject of vigorous, pertinent and sometimes incisive criticism, in which Kłósak excelled.
Existentialism had only a peripheral hold on Polish post-war philosophy and professional philosophers dismissed it as a pretentious and strange combination of an intellectual and literary fashion, moral protest and social reaction against ‘impersonal’ philosophies, which disregard what might be most important to an individual, the dread and anxiety of human existence. Existentialism never acquired respectability in academic philosophy and had in Bogdan Suchodolski its only supporter, who soon abandoned it in favour of Marxism-Leninism. Catholic thinkers and literary circles showed a greater interest in and appreciation of existentialism. The writers’ interest was soon damped in the course of a mounting ideological pressure denouncing the corrupt bourgeois art in general, existentialism in particular, but Catholic thinkers were more persistent.
The latter differentiated between various kinds of existentialism. They criticised Sartre for his ‘philosophy of nihilism’ as firmly as the Marxist-Leninists did, recognised in Heidegger a deep and powerful mind, who, particularly in his later works, showed the way to the recognition of transcendental being, and gave to Marcel, a continuator of Saint Augustine and Pascal, a high rank. As in some other countries, for instance in England, France and Germany, Christian philosophy in Poland was more deeply affected by existentialism than was academic philosophy. The tendency to evolve a Christian existentialism, which refers directly to Thomas Aquinas and has only loose connections with its modern version, is represented by Albert Kr?piec and supported by Świeżawski.
One more work must be briefly mentioned. Kreutz, a psychologist from Twardowski’s school, wrote a critical assessment of modern psychology, in particular of various psychological methods, in an effort to remedy its methodological shortcomings. A considerable part of it, in which the testing techniques are analysed, is now obsolete, but its searchingly critical scientific spirit is worth noting. It was the last psychological book published in Poland for many years. Soon after its publication psychology was ‘ideologically and methodologically reconstructed’ to perish in the process. A dialectically materialistic psychology, based on Pavlov’s theories, which was to replace the ‘idealist psychology’, failed to materialise leaving the ideological planners with a gaping void on their hands.
It is perhaps not unjustifiable to say that the philosophical development in the first three or four post-war years was hopeful and showed signs of vigour. Philosophy was not confined by any dogma, the inquiry could follow the line of its choosing and came up with what results were obtained. There were ugly war scars, but no incurable wounds. There was a determination to make good the losses of war and time, and considerable progress in this direction was made. The old schools revived, but a critical spirit in assessing the past could be felt. What remained unchanged was the continuance of the scientific trend with its skilful philosophical techniques, reinforced by realistic, rationalistic, and a common sense attitude. The past achievements, recognised at home and abroad, provided the foundations on which future developments could be safely built. The postwar revival of philosophy was the resumption of a tradition. The coming years were to prove its strength and power over the minds of its followers and of all, including its adversaries, who have come in contact with it.