The author claims that Marx’s ideas have succeeded, the proletariat has been victorious in the class conflict but the victory is completely different from what Marx has expected. The vision of the proletariat state ended up in a total failure. The vestiges of Marx’s proposal testify to complete inapplicability of his main ideas to the circumstances of the contemporary world. The concept of a state managed by the proletariat class turned out to be defective. The ownership of the means of production has failed. The concept of private property defended itself and has even been strengthened. And where a public ownership won the upper hand, as in State Treasury, it turned out to be institutional and not collective. Moreover, the state interferes more and more vigorously in private businesses and their activities. On the other hand, however, the proletariat succeeded in the area of employment law where it won some durable legal guarantees. Thus Marx correctly perceived certain needs of the proletariat but proposed inapt solutions to them.
The article discusses Nicholas Rescher’s metaphilosophical view of orientational pluralism. In his essay Philosophical Disagreement: An Essay towards Orientational Pluralism in Metaphilosophy Rescher explains a substantial difference between philosophy and science—namely, that philosophers—differently than scientists— continuously propose and undermine various solutions to the same old problems. In philosophy it is difficult to find any consensus or convergence of theories. According to Rescher, this pluralism of theoretical positions is caused by holding by philosophers different sets and hierarchies of cognitive values, i.e. methodological orientations. These orientations are chosen in virtue of some practical postulates, they are of axiological, normative, but not strictly theoretical character. Different methodological orientations yield different evaluations of philosophical theses and arguments. This article shows that Rescher’s account does not determine clearly acceptable cognitive values. If there are no clear criteria of evaluation of methodological orientations, then the described view seems to be identical to relativism adopting the everything goes rule. In addition, accepting orientational pluralism it is hard to avoid the conclusion that discussions between various philosophical schools are futile or can be reduced to non-rational persuasion.
The leading purpose of this paper is to provide an answer to the question whether Karl Marx belongs to philosophy and history of philosophy, and whether placing him in these categories gives a fair picture of what he really intended to achieve. When analyzing Marx’s thought, one should remember that is his own eyes he was not a philosopher but a researcher who goes beyond the horizon of philosophy in order to undertake scientific and not ideological work aimed at organizing political battles of that time. Of course, what a particular thinker believes of himself cannot be an ultimate criterion for interpreting his/her academic output. The doubts are augmented when we consult Leszek Kołakowski’s Main Currents of Marxism – a book that is based on the assumption that “Karl Marx was a German philosopher”, and this starting point supports the critique of Marx’s thought. The problem arises from the fact that Leszek Kołakowski, who was a post-Marxist, despises science and philosophy, and sees myth as the basis of thought dynamics. Thus the question of the adequacy of his presentation of Marx aris es and strengthens the suspicion that Kołakowski did not present the real Marx’s philosophy but rather a myth of Marx’s theory centered on the idea of making people happy against their will and nature.
This article provides an initial analysis, from a historical standpoint, of the problematic nature of conceptualizations of the notion of gene in molecular genetics. The starting point is an historical outline of the relation between classical genetics and molecular genetics; it is indicated how the conceptual baggage of classical genetics influenced the development of the concepts of gene used later in molecular biology. I also reveal two problems of genes in the philosophy of science, i.e., skepticism concerning genes and the concept of nominal gene. I conclude that concept of gene functioning within the framework of molecular genetics should be considered from the point of view of experimentalism and pragmatism. It seems that the concept of gene on the molecular level should be conceptualized—in order to remain functional—as broadly as possible and in relation to genetic material.
In the paper I present the famous argument between Peter F. Strawson and Bertrand Russell on definite descriptions. I do not go into details of the two rival solutions to the problem of definite descriptions. Instead I present the controversy against the background of two traditions within analytic philosophy, i.e. the philosophy of natural language (Strawson) and the philosophy of ideal language (Russell). In consequence, the aim of this paper is to sketch the principal features of the two traditions and to indicate their influence on the argument. In the first paragraph I discuss Russell’s theory of descriptions and present it as a result of dramatic changes that he had made in his philosophy before he finally presented them in On Denoting in 1905. The second paragraph deals with the two traditions within analytic philosophy after the linguistic turn and underlines the role of Strawson in the philosophy of natural language. In the third paragraph I analyze in detail Strawson’s arguments against the theory of descriptions and I focus on some details that are usually omitted in standard presentations. The fourth paragraph discusses Russell’s response to Strawson’s objections, i.e. the counter-arguments formulated from the standpoint of philosophy of ideal language. I end with some suggestions about how to reconcile both approaches.
Once flourishing in the early medieval India, the materialist Carvaka/Lokayata tradition of philosophy vanished centuries ago leaving mere bits from their foundational sutra, and from a few commentaries thereon. These are scattered in the works of their opponents, hence the winding path to reconstructing the Carvaka/Lokayata thought necessarily begins with evaluating the reliability of the source material. This paper deals with the problem of the brief account of two interpretations of the Carvaka/Lokayata aphorism: 'from these, consciousness', recorded by the 8th-century Buddhist authors Śantarak�ita and Kamalaśfla in the Lokâyata-parfk$a Chapter XXII of the Tattva-sańgraha(-pañjika), critically edited by the author of the present paper.
P.F. Strawson and J.L. Austin approach the problem of other minds from different perspectives. Peter Strawson looks at this problem from the perspective of descriptive metaphysics, which largely disregards the concrete situations in which we use mental language. John Austin, on the other hand, believes that to understand what is happening in such situations holds the key to solving the former problem. However, as it turns out, the considerations of both authors in the key fragments rely on similar observations. In addition, Austin’s perspective, which looks at the language from the point of view of its usage, makes it possible to formulate an answer to the Strawson’s critics. This does not exclude the possibility of agreeing with Strawson on the primacy of the reference function of language, if we understand it properly. Ultimately, Strawson and Austin’s approaches do not compete, but complement each other.
In the 21th century we can observe a return to Marx, particularly in the circles of New Left. A critical approach to the legacy of Karl Marx implies a readiness to revise or even reject the false or no longer valid propositions of Marx in order to be able to confront his legacy with the current state of contemporary science. Some of his views have already been definitely rejected (particularly the theory of revolution and of the dictatorship of proletariat). But a part of his contribution remains valid: (1) the philosophy of praxis, i.e. a theory oriented toward a social change, and (2) the sociological theory that interprets politics in terms of class interests.
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.
This work attempts to reconstruct the culture that contributed to the philosophical way of thinking. My goal is to extract two important factors: religion carrying individual experience and the importance of certain ideas which are present in that culture. Sources of philosophical thinking can be found in the structure of polis. Only on its basis could the idea of the wise man and citizen as well as religion-oriented individual experience be raised. Greek polis paves the way for a new style of thinking by creating the conditions for its citizens to follow the ideal, regardless of the position they occupy in society. Sustainability, which should be a feature of a good citizen, is also the essence of society. Highly positioned wisdom as moral reflection tinged with religiosity allows thinking according to the laws of logos. Finally, the experience offered by the mystery cults leads to the transformation of their own existence and the emergence of a way of recognition of reality different than before. Undeniably, all the elements related to structure policies with its ideals contribute to the emergence of a new way of thinking in the form of philosophy. One could say that the philosophical objectivity is preceded by the subjectivity and rationality of its roots dating back to irrationality.
Published for the fi rst time in 1721, Persian Letters has been relatively underestimated as a source of knowledge about Montesquieu’s philosophy of liberty. This paper analyses one of the main story lines of the novel, namely the relations between Usbek, the Persian traveller, and the wives remaining in his seraglio. It is demonstrated that these wives are in fact the fi gures of subjects — the fl attering and scheming subject of an absolute ruler, the law-abiding subject of a monarch, and the rebel who questions the very legitimacy of the lord’s authority. It is also demonstrated that the story of the seraglio wives’ rebellion explains why subjects rebel and how the rulers who abuse their power lose it.
This article discusses the problem of orphan manuscripts and writings in the collection of documents deposited with the Jagiellonian University. The author mentions the difficulties in the access to this heritage, due to the unclear status of these works. In this context she analyzes and presents biographies and views of all Jewish philosophers who received Ph.D. degree at the Jagiellonian University in the years 1918 through 1939, many of whom probably did not survive World War II.
I give arguments supporting the claim that one of the most prominent methodological results of French conventionalism – rejection of the possibility of a crucial experiment in mature empirical sciences – was formulated simultaneously by Pierre Duhem and Gaston Milhaud in 1894. Thus, I attempt to question the standard approach in philosophy and methodology of science, which attributes the said result exclusively to Duhem. I am building my case of Milhaud’s true contribution to the debate on the rejection of the existence of the experimentum crucis, made in his PhD thesis Essai sur les conditions et les limites de la certitude logique.
This article is historical and philosophical in nature. Its purpose is to outline the most important trends and problems in the 19th-century Spanish philosophy. This philosophy has not yet been the subject of deeper analyses, especially in Polish literature on the subject. This is a major oversight, because the nineteenth century is the time of the impressive growth of modern social, political, legal, moral and intelectual structures in Spain. An important role in their development was played by Spanish philosophers and their reception of modern European philosophy and science. The reception was accompanied by numerous disputes and discussions about the condition of the Spanish culture and its possible development directions.
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.
I investigate Husserl’s long-term research on revealing/constructing a proper idea of science. For Husserl this idea was of tremendous importance: it had to be the basis of forming a (the) proper philosophy (phenomenology), that is, a philosophy which was to be an exact science, a new and higher form of science. According to Husserl, the idea of science is not a free project of individual researchers, scientific communities, but the very essence of science—changeless, universal, nontransformable, non-culturally and socially loaded, ahistorical, and non-relativized to scientific praxis. It was attempt to determine a new status of philosophy which led Husserl’s to the consideration of a universal idea of science.
In the collection of articles by Peter Strawson published in his Analysis and metaphysics the author defines his meta-philosophical position by offering two analogies, relating respectively to philosophy conceived as therapy and to philosophy construed as a grammar of thought. These analogies, if they are viewed in a perspective invoked by reflections on ‘the human condition’ – admittedly, a style of investigation fairly remote form analytic research – open several interesting questions and raise puzzling uncertainties. If we follow some implications of these queries, the general position of Strawson in contemporary philosophy becomes more convincing; it fits quite comfortably in the ‘mainstream philosophy’, and highlights some leading topics in the eternal philosophical agenda.
In these remarks I recall the attempts of pointing out the relations between philosophy and modernity in sciences in three distinctively differing point of view, that is the achievements of “the Enlightened Age” (in the sense of Ernst Cassirer), phenomenological philosophy (in the sense of Edmund Husserl) and the classicist conservatism (in the sense of Allan Bloom). In each of these cases an importance of those relations is being acknowledged. However it is not just differently evaluated and justified, but also the diagnoses and forecasts related to it look differently either.
The aim of this article is to examine the influence of the contemporary speculative philosophy on the neo-fantastic fiction (Le monde enfin by J.-P. Andrevon). The speculative philosophy presents the modern world as the source of cosmological horror for the human being. In my analysis, I focus on two anxiety-provoking motifs present both in speculative philosophy and Andrevon’s novel: the end of the anthropocentric world and the beginning of a new, inhuman world, dominated by nature.
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).
This article takes as its starting point the Greek term μεταξύ, a preposition meaning ‘between’, first turned into a noun in Plato’s Symposium, and in that substantivized form adapted for their own ends by a number of 20th-century philosophers, most notably by Simone Weil. In her Gravity and Grace (French: La Pesanteur et la grâce) she defines le metaxu as in-betweenness, a social and metaphysical category which embraces all that connects and divides (as, for example, a wall that both separates two prisoners and can be used by them to tap messages). In this article Weil’s concept of metaxu is applied to the language and then to various readings of two of Wisława Szymborska’s poems, ‘Funeral’ and ‘Elegiac Calculation’. Pragmalinguistics and semantics, too, play a role in the interpretation of these poems.
Most philosophers believe that a unified philosophical account of mental and non -mental actions is possible. This article presents two arguments indicating that in fact it is not possible. The first one says that thinking is not an activity. Its formulation, however, is exposed to significant difficulties. The second argument avoids these difficulties and puts forward a different, though sometimes erroneously identified, thesis that mental and non-mental actions differ significantly, and therefore one theory should not be expected to include both phenomena. Acceptance of this result sheds new light on the problems associated with the language of thought and gives promise to a new answer to the question “What is Le Penseur doing?”
The end of the nineteenth century was the period when revolutionary scientific discoveries challenged well-established theories, forcing both philosophers and scientists to ask questions about the nature and certainty of scientific knowledge. A group of French scientists not only performed a thorough critique of contemporary science and its history but proposed a new model that adequately described the development of scientific knowledge. Gaston Milhaud made a significant contribution to this new description of knowledge creation. He is however rarely mentioned in the context of the theory of knowledge and remains overshadowed by his famous colleagues. Despite the fact that more than a hundred years have passed since the conventionalist philosophy of science was formulated, H. Poincaré’s, P. Duhem’s and G. Milhaud’s positions have not gained much popularity beyond the circle of philosophers of science. This article briefly outlines personal relationships within French conventionalist circle, presents important results of Milhaud’s analysis, and the reasons why philosophers do not recognize the role he played in creating a new model for the development of scientific knowledge.
Gaston Milhaud (1858–1918) was a French modern philosopher, who, having started from mathematics, came to philosophy (especially epistemology) and history of science. His works on the history of science were devoted to Greek science and modern science. Milhaud in his papers claimed that important concepts and principles of science (in different disciplines) result from decisions that simultaneously transcend both experience and logic. He emphasized the role of free creation and activity of the mind. The author discusses central problems of Milhaud’s thought, especially the problem of the relationship between science and philosophy.