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Uniwersytet Wrocławski

Instytut Filozofii

Znajdujesz się w: Strona główna > Aktualności > Prof. Adam Chmielewski: Abstract Society in the Time of Plague



Volume 50 Number 4 July 2020 pages 366-380

Special Issue: Selected Papers from the 8th ENPOSS Meeting, Athens, 28-30 August 2019

Guest Editors: Byron Kaldis, Jesús Zamora-Bonilla, Alban Bouvier, Eleonora Montuschi and Julie Zahle

Research Article

Abstract Society in the Time of Plague

Adam Chmielewski


The global lockdown following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to generate all sorts of consequences: psychological, social, economic, and political. To hypothesize about what will emerge from the present situation is at this point both premature and impossible. The impossibility comes primarily from the gravity and vastness of this emergency and from the lack of intellectual resources to deal with the challenge. At the same time, however, the need to get a grasp of the condition in which we have found ourselves is both understandable and irresistible. One way of responding, at least partially, to the demand and its possible consequences may be to refer to the concept of abstract society, an idea formulated 75 years ago by the Austrian-British philosopher Karl Popper.

Author Biography

Adam Chmielewski is a professor at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Wrocław, Poland. He studied philosophy and social sciences at the universities in Wrocław, Oxford, New York, and Edinburgh. He has authored several books, among them Popper’s Philosophy: A Critical Analysis (1995), Incommensurability, Untranslatability, Conflict (1997), Open Society or Community? (2001), Two Conceptions of Unity (2006), and Psychopathology of Political Life (2009). He is the editor-in-chief of Studia Philosophica Wratislaviensia and a member of editorial boards of several Polish and international journals. He is also a social activist and political columnist. He publishes blogs: Interventions: Philosophical and Political, Contra-Dictions, and Meetings Downtown and has contributed a number of essays to openDemocracy. His latest book is Politics and Recognition: Towards a New Political Aesthetics (Routledge, 2020).


Article first published online: June 11, 2020; Issue published: July 1, 2020