This essay (given at the PENClub Polska) deals with the relationship between constitutional matters and poetry. The essay takes a closer look at the poetry of Adam Zagajewski, Marcin Świetlicki, Julian Tuwim and Adam Bieszek. “There is nothing on us in the Constitution” – Marcin Świetlicki angrily declaims the bitterness of civil rejection in the poem “Under the volcano”. However, the poet is not right. The Constitution sometimes means more than it says directly. If it is silent about something, that does not always amount to rejection, as Świetlicki claims. The two first parts of the essay explain why the poet could have made such a mistake as to his presence in the Constitution. The third part expounds the change that is taking place in Poland: the rejection of the foundations of the Constitution without changing its text.
This article examines the process of the judicial Europeanization of the Polish Constitution. In Poland the judicial method of Europeanizing the Constitution is currently the primary way of adjusting constitutional norms to requirements resulting from EU law. The phenomenon of re-interpretation of constitutional provisions in light of the new and changing realities is a characteristic feature of contemporary constitutionalism. It has been a long time since most national constitutions have undergone significant textual changes. In Poland, the scope of judicial Europeanization of the Constitution is connected, to a great extent, with the inflexible procedure required for constitutional amendments. In this situation, these so-called “silent changes” of constitutional norms are the easiest and fastest way of reacting to requirements stemming from Poland’s EU membership. In the Polish case not only have the norms regarding the political system of the state changed, but also constitutional standards relating to the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms have undergone the process of the Europeanization. To some extent, these changes relate to procedural norms as well.
The article presents Charles Taylor’s critical philosophy of language and it reviews his recent book on the human linguistic capacity. Critical philosophy of language is understood here as a broad (philosophical, social and political) perspective on language characterized by multifaceted concern with the linguistic and cognitive mechanisms involved in language use. The paper discusses Taylor’s interest in language and philosophy of language, and focuses on his seminal distinction between the ‘designative-instrumental’ and ‘constitutive-expressive’ theories of language. In the former theory language is understood within the confi nes of Cartesian representational epistemology, whereas in the latter language constitutes meaning and shapes human experience (one of the features important for defi ning the critical approach to philosophy of language).