They are linked to many issues in the economic, political, and social sciences. Their role in the changing world cannot be overestimated. Their significance, though unlikely to wane, will nonetheless be changing. What are “public goods” and what is their future?
Karl Marx (and also Friedrich Engels, by the way) was – contrary to his own opinion – an author of several utopias which played a role in the 20th century. The question (which is of both historical-philosophical and historical-empirical character) therefore arises how important this role was. The author focuses on the characteristics of Marxian utopias, and specifically – on their axiological content and current relevance. According to the author, Marx’s utopias can be a convenient starting point for searching for various projects (political, economic, technological etc.) necessary to cope with global challenges that mankind faces in our time. The author is also considering Marx’s motives for a critical approach to utopias and points to those of them which in his opinion should be accepted, while distinguishing them from others which should be rejected.
The interdisciplinary report is an effect of the work of a team of experts appointed by Division I for Humanities and Social Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). The team consisted of representatives of academic committees of the division. Its task was to formulate answers to 20 questions most frequently asked in public discourse regarding costs and benefits of the European integration, relations between Poland and the EU authorities, threats to the integration, the future of the EU and the place of Poland in the Community. The authors express concern about the potential results of the negative attitude of the current Polish government towards the actions of the institutions of the EU, the growing criticism towards the European integration and the threat of marginalisation of Poland within the EU or even the possibility of Poland’s leaving the EU (Polexit). They also indicate the possible economic, political and civilizational outcomes of the actions of the Polish authorities which weaken Poland’s ties to the EU. The report urges the academic community to increase their research activity and involvement in the public debate regarding these vital issues.
The purpose of this article is to identify and assess environmental risks that may have the greatest impact on the future of humanity. They were divided into two basic groups, i.e. for natural processes and resources. In addition, climate change is described as different group. The authors decided, that a holistic approach to this issue is more desirable than dividing it into two above-mentioned groups. The comparison of various threats was possible due to the application of identical assessment criteria, such as: the harmfulness, rate of spread, scope and moment of occurrence of a given group of threats. Each of the listed criteria has been evaluated on a five-point scale, where 1 has the smallest and 5 the largest impact force. The obtained results show the leading importance of natural processes in maintaining the existing Earth system. In addition, the authors point to a greater risk of problems related to renewable resources than non-renewable one. As a result, it can be assumed that the current degradation of natural processes and excessive use of resources is likely to lead to the risk of global disasters.
This article addresses the issue of the interpretation of proper names in poetry. The state of research on the functions of proper names in literature is well described, but it is possible to note the lack of a fixed interpretation strategy in poetry which means that, despite little interest in poetry, its researchers often try to propose their own methods of analysis. The authors of the article, who tackle onyms in the poetry of Bruno Jasieński, present their own methodological approach to the matter, based on B. Waldenfels’ concept of the “phenomenology of the alien”.
The Author discusses the present state of Polish geography against the background of the traditional position, and the rapid development taking place after the Second World War. The introduction of new methods and new directions, as well as new organization are considered to have been reflected in the rising international position of Polish geography. Further topics here include the relationship between physical and human geography, the growing de facto separation of these two branches, and the development of several independent sciences rooted in geography but now existing apart from it (like geomorphology, climatology, hydrology, etc. on the physical geography side, with the element of the environment as a subject of study). On the other hand, social economic geography examines the effects of human activity in the environment, thereby synthesizing spatial management and bridging the gap between the earth sciences, the economy and the social sciences. The degradation of environmental resources, explosion of the human population and climate change have all forced geography (and other sciences) to head in the global direction, as well as towards interdisciplinary cooperation, likewise on the level of the world as a whole. If we are to meet the challenges this all entails, we will need to think about creating interdisciplinary problem teams, as well as activating existing organisational structures in science (notably the geographical sciences), with full benefit taken from research centres that run studies on differing spatial scales, in conjunction with international global programmes like the Future Earth. The geography of the future should not be a closed science, but should draw on the knowledge of scholars of various specialisations, seeking environmental solutions that require intervention on both the global and regional scales. Polish geography should participate in this activity, inter alia as part of Future Earth, as a new venture. It can also be regarded as our task to ensure that society is aware of all the above issues.
Recent works of the authors, concerning the future of urban regions, are synthesised in the paper. Three methodological paths – focused on exploring and creating the future of urban regions – are the backbone of the presented work. Within the fi rst path, creation of regional future by applying the concept of intellectual and strategic challenges is recommended. Second path introduces a new perspective for the future, based upon vehicles. A new philosophy of urban and regional growth emerges here. Third path is a new approach towards creation of regional specialisations in a contemporary notion of technological and creative economy.