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Abstract

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.
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Abstract

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.
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Abstract

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.
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Abstract

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.
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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

The text is devoted to the reconstruction of Wolniewicz’s philosophical views presented by him in the first volume of his Philosophy and Values. The philosophical tradition to which Wolniewicz admitted allegiance and the results of his analyzes in the field of methodology, philosophy of religion, anthropology and philosophy of politics are discussed. Some methodological problems are raised, such as theoretical criteria (including the semantic criterion) of theoreticity, philosophy as theory, philosophical styles, parapsychology as a pseudo-theory, mystified observation and the rule of rationality. Within philosophy of religion the author analyses Wolniewicz’s thesis that the foundation of religion resides in the fear of death. From anthropological problems, Wolniewicz’s views on relations of anthropology to axiology are presented, as well as the relationship between meliorism and pejorism (with particular emphasis on the so-called epiphany of the devil), abortion and murder, transplantations and ‘(neo)cannibalism.’ Within philosophy of politics the author undertakes to carefully reconstruct Wolniewicz’s attempts to distinguish between such oppositions as democracy and democratism, evolution and revolution, fanaticism and tolerance. Finally the author argues that Wolniewicz was one of the most outstanding contemporary Polish philosophers even though he points to some gaps in his arguments.
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Abstract

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.
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Abstract

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.
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