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Abstract

The paper discusses selected topics in moral philosophy of Professor Bogusław Wolniewicz. His overall approach is marked by intellectual independence and analytic treatment of moral issues. The theory of values that he has endorsed can be described as a moderate non-religious absolutism based on weak metaphysical principles. Although in general his normative position can be assimilated to the views of an enlightened liberal, it also clashes with that position insofar as he proclaimed the existence of ontological evil and supported legitimacy of death penalty.
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Abstract

The works of Bogusław Wolniewicz contain a philosophical system. It needs to be extracted and revealed through a recomposition of his output which comprises close to 600 individual publications and auditions. It is a system of Pythagorean-Manichean kind, or, to put it differently, Leibnizian-Augustinian kind. The Professor described his philosophy as a rational ‘tychism’. It claims that the world and man are governed by chance (especially human nature in which an element of evil has some influence) and that mind, even though it uses logic to reflect the world, is barely an irrelevant addition in the vast universe. Such a stance is unusual in modern thought, though not in the history of thinking. It is in clear opposition to the scientifically bended rationalism and irrationalism that dominate contemporary thought. The logical coherency and extensiveness of Wolniewicz’s concerns constitute the essence of his philosophical system, though it goes largely unnoticed, due to the meaninglessness of several of his claims to his opponents. At its foundation lies the metaphysics of situations developed by L. Wittgenstein but further elaborated by Wolniewicz. The contribution by Wolniewicz is not his greatest accomplishment, however. The metaphysics of situations is his organon – merely a thinking tool – used to extract the most crucial and deeply hidden truths about the world. Due to these circumstances and the modern achievements in logic when it is practiced in Wolniewicz’s style, new discoveries are made that were not possible in the past. For example, it is possible to incorporate both Christian axiology and anthropology with Marx’s sociology in one system. It evocates widespread amazement but also fierce resistance from conservative readers, but their protests are ungrounded. ‘Truth always agrees with truth’ – said Wolniewicz. When it comes to Wolniewicz’s system, its coherence counts most, and it is best manifested in the objectivistic and absolutistic philosophy of values as well as pessimistic philosophy of the human condition (both being of Christian provenance). One can depict Wolniewicz’s system as a cathedral with numerous towers, persistently built over 70 years of his active academic life. The main towers are: ontological-theological, anthropological and axiological (of practical philosophy, describing human duties). Standing shoulder to shoulder with them are smaller turrets corresponding to such subfields as epistemology, philosophy of culture, philosophy of religion, esthetics etc. The metaphysical aspect of Wolniewicz’s philosophy is blended from specific classic theorems and original claims expressed in synthetic a priori propositions. They are supported by the logical structure of language, and language itself is supported by the structure of human genotype (DNA). Technically one can reach the most general truths about the world by continuous thinking, but the ability to use that skill is a privilege reserved for exceptional geniuses.
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Abstract

I address the question of Marx’s understanding of the role and function of religion in social life. Marx’s pronouncements on this topic are few and far between. Yet relying on them I undertake to examine the proposal ostensibly made by Marx that it was possible, or even necessary, to purge religious institutions and religious attitudes from social life. I point to a number of inconsistencies and errors that Marx committed in making such proposals.
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