The History of the Polish Philosophical Congresses

The First Polish Philosophical Congress was organized by the Polish Philosophical Society and took place on May 10–13, 1923 in Lvov. The General Congress Committee included: Wincenty Lutosławski, Jan Łukasiewicz, Witold Rubczyński, Michał Sobeski, and Kazimierz Twardowski. The papers were delivered within the framework of plenary and paper sessions. The paper sessions included two joint sessions: logics together with the history of philosophy, and metaphysics together with epistemology, and sessions on: the history of philosophy, logic, metaphysics, epistemology, and psychology, as well as a general session. In the plenary meetings there were lectures on free will (Wincenty Lutosławski, Stanisław Trzebiński) and the theory of action (Marian Borowski, Tadeusz Kotarbiński). The 123 participants of the Congress represented scientific centers from, among other cities, Cracow, Lvov, Poznań, Warsaw, and Vilnius, and delivered 51 papers. The inaugural address was given by Kazimierz Twardowski, and the inauguration lecture by Władysław Witwicki. Some of the lecturers were: Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz, Benedykt Bornstein, Leon Chwistek, Tadeusz Czeżowski, Bolesław Gawecki, Roman Ingarden, Tadeusz Kotarbiński, and Władysław Tatarkiewicz. The Congress materials were published in the Memorial Book of the First Polish Philosophical Congress (Lvov 1923) and some presentations were published in scientific journals, such as Przegląd Filozoficzny, Przegląd Współczesny, and Ruch Filozoficzny.

The Second Polish Philosophical Congress took place on September 23–28, 1927 in Warsaw. There were plenary sessions and seven sections on: esthetics, philosophy of nature, the history of philosophy, logic, metaphysics and epistemology, psychology, and semantics. The plenary sessions were chaired by: Tadeusz Czeżowski, Jan Łukasiewicz, Witold Rubczyński, Kazimierz Twardowski, and Florian Znaniecki. There were 147 scientists from many scientific centers, including: Berlin, Cracow, Lvov, Poznań, Prague, Warsaw, and Vilnius. There were also representatives of Slavic nations, for example: Nikołaj Bierdiajew, Ramiro Bujas, Siemion Frank, Sergiusz Hessen, and Nikołaj Łosskij. In general, 70 presentations were made. The inauguration lectures were given by Jan Łukasiewicz (O metodę filozofii, English: For a Philosophical Method) and Florian Znaniecki (Zadanie syntezy filozoficznej, English: The Task of Philosophical Synthesis). The information about the congress was published in a Memorial Book of The Second Polish Philosophical Congress (Warsaw, 1927) and some presentations were published in philosophical journals.

The Third Polish Philosophical Congress focusing on “Contemporary trends in science and the need of a philosophical synthesis, particularly with regard to the relation of logic and philosophy” took place in Cracow on September 24–27, 1936. Over 90 papers were given during the plenary sessions and the six sections on: esthetics, the history of philosophy, logic, sociology and ethics, theory of cognition, and ontology. The inaugural address, titled The Periods of European Philosophy, was given by Władysław Tatarkiewicz, and some of the authors of the plenary lectures were given by: Jan Łukasiewicz, Co dała filozofii współczesnej logika matematyczna? (The Influence of Mathematical Logics on Contemporary Philosophy), Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz, Zagadnienie idealizmu w sformułowaniu semantycznym (Idealism from the Perspective of Semantics), and Tadeusz Kotarbiński who postulated the creation of a philosophical dictionary. The congress materials were published in the Memorial Book of the Third Polish Philosophical Congress.

Because of the Second World War and the post-war politics of the communist regime the philosophical congress was not organized for the next four decades. It was only in 1977, on 20–23 June, that a National Philosophical Congress was organized by the Inter-university Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Maria Curie-Skłodowskia University in Lublin. The main theme was Philosophy for the Nation and Socialism. The Congress was opened by its initiator, Marek Fritzhand, who delivered a paper Socjalistyczny sposób życia jako problem teoretyczny (The Socialist Way of Life as a Theoretical Problem). Another paper, Stan i perspektywy rozwoju filozofii w Polsce (The Conditions of Philosophy in Poland and Perspectives for Development) was delivered by Tadeusz M. Jaroszewski. The plenary sessions were attended by: Zdzisław Augustynek, Andrzej Grzegorczyk, Jerzy Kmita, Alicja Kuczyńska, Jerzy Ładyka, Witold Marciszewski, Mieczysław Michalik, Klemens Szaniawski, and Janina Wojnar-Sujecka. There were seven sections: 1. Filozoficzne problemy człowieka i osobowości (The Philosophical problems of Man and Personality, chaired by Tadeusz M. Jaroszewski), 2. Materializm historyczny (Historical Materialism, the chairman: Jarosław Ładosz), 3. System wartości a kształtowanie socjalistycznego sposobu życia (A System of Values and Shaping a Socialist Way of Life, the chairman: Jan Legowicz); that session included two sub-sessions: the esthetic one (the chairwoman: Alicja Kuczyńska), and the ethical one (the chairman: Mieczysław Michalik), 4. Historia filozofii (The History of Philosophy), 5. Społeczny kontekst poznania (The Social Context of Cognition, the chairman: Zdzisław Cackowski), 6. Materializm dialektyczny a nauki przyrodnicze (Dialectic Materialism and Natural Science), and 7. Filozoficzne zastosowania logiki (The Philosophical Applications of Logic, the chairman: Witold Marciszewski).

The Fifth Polish Philosophical Congress took place in Cracow on 9–12 November, 1987. The chairman of the Program Committee and the Organizing Committee of the Congress titled Filozofia dla przyszłości (Philosophy for the Future) was Józef Lipiec from the Jagiellonian University. There were 331 participants who presented 160 papers. The inaugural address on the condition and perspectives of philosophy was given by Tadeusz M. Jaroszewski. There were two plenary sessions and three panel discussions: Filozofia – czym jest, czym być może, czym być powinna (Philosophy – what it is, what it can be, and what it should be), chairperson – Zdzisław Cackowski), Filozofia a nauki szczegółowe (Philosophy and Exact Science, chairman: Jan Such), Człowiek i społeczeństwo w świetle filozofii i nauk humanistycznych (Man and Society in the light of Philosophy and Humanities, chairman: Janusz Kuczyński), and seven sections: I. Samowiedza filozofii (The Self-knowledge of Philosophy, presidium – Władysław Stróżewski, Józef Lipiec, Barbara Stanosz, Czesław Piecuch), II. Filozofia człowieka i stan współczesny (The Philosophy of Man and the Contemporary Condition, presidium – Zbigniew Kuderowicz, Antoni B. Stępień, Janusz Szmyd, A. Komendera, Roman Wawrykowicz), III. Filozofia i metodologia nauki (Philosophy and Methodology of Science, presidium – Jerzy Kmita, Zdzisław Augustynek, Stanisław Mazierski, Ignacy Stanisław Fiut), IV. Człowiek w świecie wartości (Man in the World of Values, presidium – Andrzej Michalik, Zdzisław J. Czarnecki, Bogdan Dziemidok, Maciej Uliński, Piotr Mróz), V. Drogi poznania – drogi do prawdy (The Ways of Cognition – the Ways to Truth, presidium – Marian Przełęcki, Marek Hempoliński, Mieczysław Cyprian Lubański, Jacek Szymura), VI. Współczesny wymiar badań nad dziejami filozofii (The Contemporary Dimension of Studies on the History of Philosophy, presidium – Ryszard Panasiuk, Czesław Głombik, Marek Markowski, J. Miklaszewski) and VII. Logika i jej zastosowanie (Logic and its Applications, presidium – Władysław Marciszewski, Leon Gumański, Leon Koj, Wojciech Suchoń). 43 papers were published in the Studia Filozoficzne journal (1988, no. 12; 1989, no. 1).

The Sixth Polish Philosophical Congress, under the auspices of the Committee on Philosophical Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences (chairperson – Janusz Pelc) and the Management Board of the Polish Philosophical Society (chairperson – Władysław Stróżewski) took place in Toruń on September 5–9, 1995. There were 797 participants. There were 32 sections, including: business philosophy and ethics, ecophilosophy and bioethics, the philosophy of education, and postmodernism. The inaugural lecture on reasoning in Polish was given by Henryk Hiż. Congress materials were published in a book titled VI Polski Zjazd Filozoficzny Toruń, 5 – 9 września (English: The Sixth Polish Philosophical Congress, Toruń, September 5 – 9) and in the journals: Kwartalnik Filozoficzny (1996 (24), no. 1, 2; 1997 (25), no. 2), and Ruch Filozoficzny (1996 (53), no. 2–3, pp. 161–415).

The Seventh Polish Philosophical Congress took place in Szczecin, on September 14–18, 2004. The chairperson of the Program and Organizing Committee was Marek Rutkowski (University of Silesia) and the Organizers were University of Szczecin, the Committee on Philosophical Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Polish Philosophical Society. There were the following honorary guests: Tadeusz Gadacz, Andrzej Grzegorczyk, Leon Koj, Leszek Kołakowski, Władysław Krajewski, Andrzej Półtawski, Marek Siemek, Władysław Stróżewski, Jerzy Szacki, Andrzej Szostek, and Andrzej Walicki. The inaugural address, titled O zawodzie filozofa (English: On the Profession of a Philosopher), was given by Leszek Kołakowski, and the closing address, titled Byt i sens (Being and Meaning), was made by Władysław Stróżewski. There were three groups of sessions: plenary sessions, panel discussions (moderated by: Andrzej Bronk, Jacek Hołówka, Witold Marciszewski, Adam Nowaczyk, Robert Piłat, Andrzej Szahaj, Z. Szawarski), and 20 sections. There were 547 participants who presented 368 papers. For the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Polish Philosophical Society there was also a session on Sposób działania towarzystw naukowych w dobie Internetu (The operation of scientific associations in the Internet era). The congress materials were published in a Congress book titled Byt i sens (English: Being and Meaning) and in the Principia journal (v. 40, Informator filozofii polskiej).

The Eighth Polish Philosophical Congress, with the motto of Witelon “Żadnej rzeczy nie widzi się w jej właściwej wielkości” ( “The Size of no Thing Is Seen as it Is”), took place in Warsaw on 15–20 September, 2008. The Program and Organizing Committee was formed by: Tadeusz Gadacz, Jacek Juliusz Jadacki, Władysław Stróżewski, and Tadeusz Szubka, and the organizers were: The Committee on Philosophical Sciences of the the Polish Academy of Sciences, Polish Philosophical Society, University of Warsaw, The Fryderyk Chopin Univesity of Music in Warsaw, and University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw. The inaugural address, titled Granice czasu, przestrzeni i prawdopodobieństwa (The Boundaries of Time, Space, and Probability) was given by Michał Heller. There were three groups of sessions: plenary sessions, sections (17), and panel discussions (15). The plenary sessions included the papers of the following scholars: Tadeusz Gadacz, Prawda w filozofii współczesnej (Truth in Contemporary Philosophy), Jacek Hołówka, Konstrukcje poznawcze, (Cognitive Structures), Władysław Stróżewski, Od wartości bytu do bytu wartości (From the Value of Being to the Being of Value), and Jan Woleński, Argumentacja i perswazja w filozofii (Argumentation and Persuasion in Philosophy). There were over 700 participants who presented about 640 papers. The congress materials were published in a Congress book titled Panorama współczesnej filozofii polskiej. Księga pamiątkowa VIII Polskiego Zjazdu Filozoficznego (A Panoramic of Contemporary Polish Philosophy. The Congress Book of the Eighth Polish Philosophical Congress) and some papers were published in the Filozofia nauki journal (2009 (17), no. 4.

The Ninth Polish Philosophical Congress was organized by the Silesian University of Technology (Faculty of Organization and Management, the Chair of the Applied Social Science), University of Silesia in Katowice (the Institute of Philosophy), the Committee on Philosophical Sciences of the Polish Philosophical Society, and the Polish Philosophical Society, in Wisła, on September 17–21, 2012. The chairman of the Organizing Committee was Jacek Rąb, and the chairman of the Program Committee was Piotr Gutowski. The inaugural address, titled O przeświadczeniach w życiu i sztuce (On Convictions in Life and Art), was given by Władysław Stróżewski. There were 5 special symposia: Człowiek i transcendencja, (Man and Transcendence, chairperson: Artur Mordka), Filozofia śmierci (The Philosophy of Death, chairperson – Ireneusz Ziemiński), Kontekstualizm (Consensualism, chairperson – Joanna Odrowąż-Sypniewska), Nowe drogi fenomenologii (New Ways of Phenomenology, chairperson – Andrzej Przyłębski), Varieties of Explanation (chairperson – Theo Kuipres), 24 sections, 5 sub-sections, and 13 panel discussions. About 700 participants took part in the Congress, presenting about 700 papers.

Krzysztof Kiedrowski

References:

  1. Encyklopedia Filozofii Polskiej, Polskie Towarzystwo Tomasza z Akwinu, Lublin 2011, v. II.
  2. VIII Polski Zjazd Filozoficzny. Księga streszczeń, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Semper, Warsaw 2008.
  3. IX Polski Zjazd Filozoficzny. Księga Streszczeń, Publishers: Silesian University of Technology, University of Silesia, Gliwice-Katowice 2012.