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Abstract

Henryk Elzenberg wiązał w młodości ze stoicyzmem wielkie nadzieje, sądząc, że dzięki pojmowaniu filozofii jako sztuki wyrzeczenia zdobędzie wewnętrzną równowagę i uwolni się od bolesnych przeżyć. Jednak stoicyzm widziany jako doktryna ascetyczna przysparzał udręk estetycznej stronie osobowości Elzenberga, która kazała mu cenić sztukę oraz wszechstronny rozwój życia. Elzenberg zbuntował się przeciw ascetycznej stronie swojej osobowości i odtąd miał uraz do stoicyzmu. Pomimo to Elzenberg reprezentował w dużej mierze stoicki typ umysłowości. Dostrzegali to jego przyjaciele, m.in. Zbigniew Herbert, który stworzył legendę Elzenberga jako stoika, dedykując mu wiersz Do Marka Aurelego.
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Abstract

Artykuł jest próbą zaprezentowania intelektualnej biografii Henryka Elzenberga. Elzenberg dążył do przezwyciężenia swojego pesymistycznego światopoglądu. Początkowo skłaniał się do filozoficznie uzasadnianego nacjonalizmu, łączonego z arystokratycznym kulturalizmem. Rozczarowany realiami życia i brakiem możliwości realizowania postulowanych idei, zwrócił się ostatecznie w stronę naturalnej, bezwyznaniowej mistyki.
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Abstract

Artykuł jest spojrzeniem na życie jednego z najwybitniejszych aksjologów polskich XX wieku. Henryk Elzenberg już od dzieciństwa był obywatelem Europy. Edukację szkolną pobierał w Szwajcarii, studia odbył na wydziale humanistycznym Uniwersytetu Paryskiego. W roku 1909 doktoryzował się na Sorbonie na podstawie pracy Le sentiment religieux chez Leconte de Lisle. Zawsze czuł się Polakiem o czym najdobitniej świadczy to, iż w roku 1914 na ochotnika wstąpił do Legionów Piłsudskiego i spędził na froncie 3,5 miesiąca, a w 1920 r. ponownie na ochotnika wstąpił do wojska i ruszył na wojnę z bolszewikami. W 1921 r. habilitował się w Krakowie na podstawie pracy Marek Aureliusz. Z historii i psychologii etyki w zakresie etyki i historii filozofii. Następnie pracował w Warszawie i w Wilnie. Po II wojnie światowej przybył do Lublina, by następnie osiąść w Toruniu. W latach 50. jako „niepoprawny idealista” został odsunięty od pracy ze studentami. Praca dydaktyczna nie była jego pasją, a tą była przede wszystkim działalność naukowa. W zasadzie wychował jednego ucznia, którym był poeta Zbigniew Herbert. Trudno przecenić wpływ Elzenberga-nonkonformisty nie tylko na twórczość, ale i postawę życiową Herberta. „Nie umrzeć jako pies na łańcuchu” to dewiza życiowa, którą niewątpliwie Mistrz zaszczepił swemu Uczniowi. Dla rzesz polskich intelektualistów pozostaje autorem prowadzonego przez całe życie dziennika intelektualnego Kłopot z istnieniem. Aforyzmy w porządku czasu.
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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

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.
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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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