The Antarctic Peninsula region has experienced a recent cooling for about 15 years since the beginning of the 21st century. In Livingston Island, this cooling has been of 0.8°C over the 12-yr period 2004–2016, and of 1.0°C for the summer average temperatures over the same period. In this paper, we analyse whether this observed cooling has implied a significant change in the density of the snowpack covering Hurd and Johnsons glaciers, and whether such a density change has had, by itself, a noticeable impact in the calculated surface mass balance. Our results indicate a decrease in the snow density by 22 kg m-3 over the study period. The density changes are shown to be correlated with the summer temperature changes. We show that this observed decrease in density does not have an appreciable effect on the calculated surface mass balance, as the corresponding changes are below the usual error range of the surface mass balance estimates. This relieves us from the need of detailed and time-consuming snow density measurements at every mass-balance campaign.
Positivism is a family of philosophical views characterized by a highly favorable account of science. The characteristic theses of positivism are that science is the only valid knowledge and that philosophy does not possess a method different from science (scientism). Positivists attempted to eliminate all metaphysical components in the area of philosophy. Wolniewicz was one of the most original Polish analytical philosophers of second part of 20th century and he was a strong opponent of anti-metaphysical tendencies. The author discusses the problem of the relationship between science and philosophy and presents Wolniewicz’s arguments against positivism and scientism.
Humification plays an important role in stabilization of organic matter in soils of the cryolithic zone. In this context, the degree of organic matter stabilization has been assessed, using instrumental methods, for permafrost peat soils of the eastern European Arctic, based on selected plots from within the Komi Republic (Russian Federation). Humic substances (HSs) isolated from the mire permafrost peats of the forest-tundra subzone of the European Arctic have been characterized in terms of molecular composition. This was accomplished using elemental and amino acid fragments (AAFs) composition. Solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (13C NMR) spectroscopy was utilized to identify the structure of HSs. Changes in the molar x(H) : x(C) ratio, ratio of aromatic to paraffin fragments and ratio of hydroxy AAFs to heterocyclic AAFs along the peat profiles have been revealed. They are due to the activation of cryogenic processes in the upper part of the seasonally thawing layer, the natural selection of condensed humic molecules, the botanical composition and degree of degradation of peat, which reflect the climatic features of the area in the Holocene. Humic acids and fulvic acids of the peat soils showed the prevalence of compounds with a low degree of condensation and a low portion of aromatic fragments. The aromaticity degree showed the trend to increase within the depth. Changes of quantitative and qualitative parameters of specific organic compounds occur at the permafrost boundary of peatlands, which can serve as an indicator of recent climate changes in environments from the high latitudes. The presented data can be useful in the evaluation of soil organic matter stabilization degree in the active layer and below the permafrost table.
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.
In the present article, the author attempts to solve the paradox hidden in the declaration pronounced by Bogusław Wolniewicz who referred to himself as a ‘Non-Confessional Roman Catholic.’ First, the author analyses (1) the way Wolniewicz understood the sources of religion, and then, (2) how he defined the minimum of Christianity. (3) The author investigates whether it is possible to reconcile his acceptance of euthanasia with the teaching of the Church, and finally, (4) the author focuses on his evangelical aesthetics. By way of conclusion the study traces on similarities between the tychistic rationalism and Christianity.
Formalization of a set of beliefs expressed in one language consists in translating them into sentences of another language. The characteristic property of a good formalization is that the target language is correctly chosen and the translations precisely reflect the meaning of the original sentences. In the paper a formalization of ontology of situations (given by Professor Bogusław Wolniewicz) is discussed. I argue that this is an example of a perfect solution of the problem.
Bogusław Wolniewicz presented his axiological system in four volumes of Filozofia i wartości (“Philosophy and Values”: 1993, 1998, 2003, 2016). For Wolniewicz, just as for his mentor Henryk Elzenberg, axiology is openly assertive and encompasses a painful confrontation of opposite moral beliefs. Wolniewicz’s vision of the reality is gloom, bitter, dramatic and deeply pessimistic. In history he detects unwelcome contributions of demonic powers (Manichaeism), he also believes that human moral character is genetically given and immutable (determinism), that some people are deprived of conscience (dualism), and that the tendency toward evil cannot be reformed (non-meliorism), human reason is not sufficient for a morally good action (voluntarism), while the so-called free will is no more than a manifestation of instincts (irrationalism). Everyone follows their pleasure (hedonism), but not everyone seeks pleasure in the same actions. In particular, some people take pleasure in cruel and destructive behaviour (demonism), while some others mind their own business (utilitarianism), and rare are those who devote themselves to higher values (perfectionism). Religion is a human invention and it emerges as a natural phenomenon in reaction to the fact of mortality. The institution of the Church should nevertheless be honored even by nonbelievers because it supports conservative values. In contemporary Western civilization a crisis can be observed between the conservative part of society (‘right-handed orientation’) and the liberal one (‘left-handed orientation’). Hateful emotions appear on both sides and are dangerous to Western unity. Conservative orientation is attached to the idea of fate, i.e. irrational power that occasionally turns human life into tragedy (fatalism). Wolniewicz’s vision is close to the theology of St. Augustine (original sin, predestination, radical dualism of good and evil) but without a consolation in hope for immortality.
The paper discusses political philosophy of Bogusław Wolniewicz. The leading idea of his general philosophy was rationalism of a specific type that he called ‘tychistic’ (meaning ‘based on fate’), or ‘transcendental’ (meaning ‘transgressing the limits of nature by reliance on human reason’). This self-description presents Wolniewicz as an author respecting his Christian background, though personally he did not espouse the complete body of precepts postulated by the Church. As a nonconfessional catholic he spoke in favor of Christian civilization which he identified with Western culture. This led him to the reject of liberalism, libertarianism and leftist ideologies. He wanted to be perceived as a democrat who supported civil and republican democracy based on the virtue of patriotism. He emphasized the essentiality of the possession of its own political state by each independent nation, and the most important circle of loyalty was for him a national community. Thus he undertook to defend a conception of cautious xenophobia that was expurgated of hate but dedicated to the defense of a national territory.
The normative system of Bogusław Wolniewicz (1927–2017) can be subsumed under three categories: (1) pessimism (fatalism, or ‘tychism’ in Wolniewicz’s terms), (2) moral determinism (‘non-meliorism’), (3) conservatism (‘right-hand orientation’). Ad (1) Wolniewicz was pessimistic in two ways: he believed human life to be tragic (fatalism) and was also convinced that most people are guided by bad instincts (dualism). Ad (2) Wolniewicz believed that moral character was biologically determined and immutable. But his strong position on this subject ignores the classical view of Aristotle or the Stoics for whom moral character (or conscience) was acquired by habit and shaped deliberately. Ad (3) I suggest that a good historical example of conservative tendency was Critias of Athens. His famous fragment of the Sisyphus contains the idea of a supremacy of laws over human passions, and reduces religion to a supportive role with respect to ethics and politics. Wolniewicz’s dualism of right-hand and left-hand orientation encourages me to distinguish between a right-wing and a left-wing perception of value. For a leftist, value is intensity of a chosen feature (progressive value), whereas for a rightist, value is an area of freedom between inacceptable extremities (modular value). On these premises I propose a simple model of axiological conflict between left-wing and right-wing citizens.
This article consists of two parts. The first part summarizes using informal language Wolniewicz’s understanding of the idea of God which he expressed in the language of formal logic. It demonstrates that Wolniewicz’s position was founded on antinaturalism, i.e. the conviction that nature is a fragment of a larger reality while man partly transcends the natural reality. The second part of the article is an attempt at capturing the intuitions behind Wolniewicz’s idea of God as an impersonal power which is not identical with Providence though. It is argued that this view is a consequence of the characteristic traits of Wolniewicz’s personality. This explanation is consistent with Wolniewicz’s understanding of human nature. In the analysis that ensues reference is made to Wolniewicz’s private correspondence.
The author presents the method of philosophizing practiced by Bogusław Wolniewicz. He subsequently discusses the sources of his philosophizing, the objectives he has set for himself, his rationalism as well as his method of making philosophy scientifically sound. The author also mentions Wolniewicz’s use of history of philosophy and substantive philosophy, his method of working with students in classes, and finally his work on texts. In many places, the author expands this presentation by adding elements of his own meta-philosophy.
Bogusław Wolniewicz, inspired by his formal ontology of situations, has put forward a question on semilattices with a unit (A question about joinsemilattices, Bulletin of the Section of Logic 19/3, 1990). The present paper is entirely devoted to this problem in the formulation given by Wolniewicz. First, the meaning of the question is analyzed and its lattice-theoretical and Boolean algebraic contents are exhibited. Second, set-theoretical and topological counterparts of the question are formulated and commented upon.
This work is complementary with Bogusław Wolniewicz’s text Elzenberg about Milosz. The circumstances surrounding the discovery of Czesław Milosz’s article Duty and Henryk Elzenberg’s polemic are portrayed here. Moreover, in the second part we have attempted to evaluate Joseph Conrad’s novel The Rover.
The early philosophical standpoint of Professor Bogusław Wolniewicz alluded mainly to the so-called first philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, as expressed in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Professor Wolniewicz’s views have found their expressions, first, in the book (in Polish) Things and Facts. An introduction to the first philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein (1968), and finally in his monograph (in Polish) Ontology of Situations. Foundations and Applications (1985). In both cases, Wolniewicz’ standpoint has been expressed by giving a substantive interpretation to semiotical and logical concepts (i.e. by producing hypostases). This practice looks rather dubious to me, in both cases, although I hope that ontology of situations can be usefully treated as a general formal theory of semantical correlates characteristic for sentential statements.
Selected scientific contacts of Jacek Hawranek and Jan Zygmunt with Professor Bogusław Wolniewicz in the period from the end of the 1980s to the beginning of the 21st century are presented in this essay. They concerned the algebraic aspects of the ontology of situations and from one moment – one only question that was posed by Wolniewicz in his note A question about join-semilattices (Bulletin of the Section of Logic, 19/3, 1990, pp. 108–108), and resulted in the Hawranek & Zygmunt paper Wokół pewnego zagadnienia z dziedziny półkrat górnych z jednością (“Some comments on a question about semilattices with unit”) (Acta Universitatis Wratislaviensis 1445, Logika 15 (1993), pp. 59–68) containing an answer to Wolniewicz’s question. The Hawranek & Zygmunt paper is reprinted below, and the essay might be also treated as a kind of an analytical and historical introduction to it. The story of contacts Wolniewicz – Hawranek & Zygmunt has been told with the help of the preserved correspondence between the three persons. In his letters Professor Wolniewicz appears as a passionate researcher, open to discussion, ready to share his research successes and difficulties with others.