The Institute of Philosophy is a research and teaching unit of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Wrocław. It consists of 10 departments and 6 centres (as below).
Our main purpose is to develop research and teaching programmes focused upon traditional philosophical disciplines (epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, political and social philosophy, philosophy of culture and religion, etc.) at the historical and systemic level.
Together with the systematic research we reinforce the pluralism of philosophical perspectives in academic practice by running interdisciplinary research and inaugurating projects which include practical, empirical and unexplored approaches in contemporary philosophy and its disciplines.
The goal of the Institute is pursued at different levels (theoretical development, application, outreach, international cooperation) through three distinct strategies, namely:
- aiming at high quality academic research (through diverse projects, conferences, seminars, publications, popularisation of philosophy, etc.);
- high quality education in human and social sciences (at BA, MA, PhD and post-doc level of studies);
- international and inter-institutional cooperation with cultural, artistic, educational, social, political, and religious organisations in Wrocław, Poland and abroad.
In order to achieve these goals we develop research and teaching programmes on the themes of development and investigation of philosophical theories and their application to cultural and social practices and problems.
Courses in the bachelor programme form two main blocks. The historical block offers the diachronic introduction into the main philosophical currents: from Ancient, through Medieval and Modern Philosophy, to German Idealism and the 19th and 20th Century Philosophy. Parallel to that, the programme involves courses in the major philosophical subdisciplines: Ontology, Epistemology, Ethics, Aesthetics, Social Philosophy and Logic (https://www.klmn.uni.wroc.pl). These two blocks are supplemented by methodological and propaedeutic courses, as well as optional seminars dedicated to more specific topics.
The master programme is also arranged in two main sections. It offers courses in more specific philosophical subdisciplines: the Philosophies of – Nature, Science, History, Economics, Religion, Culture; Political Philosophy, Philosophical Anthropology. Apart from that, there are courses dedicated to the review of the main themes in basic philosophical subdisciplines – Ontology, Epistemology, Ethics and Aesthetics. Optional seminars on more specific topics are also offered.
Research activities – overview
The Institute of Philosophy actively supports research initiatives in the following fields:
International conferences organised by the Institute of Philosophy facilitate the exchange between scholars from different institutions. During the conference Imagination between Art, Science, & the Social World (May 2018) the keynote addresses were delivered by Professor J.-J. Wunenburger, the President of l’Association Internationale Gaston Bachelard, and Professor B. Sokolov from the Institute of Philosophy of the Saint Petersburg State University.
To support young researchers, the Institute of Philosophy co-organised the Wrocław edition of Philosophers Rally (June 2017) – the international conference for early career philosophers held annually in one of Polish university cities.
For the past four years, the Institute of Philosophy has been organizing a cyclical (November) multi-day seminar in philosophy and aesthetics, covering the areas of philosophy of culture, politics, aesthetics and ethics. The Institute of Philosophy continues to expand the geographical boundaries of the project – in addition to Czech and Portuguese universities, in 2022 and beyond, it is planned to include new partners from Germany and Spain. The seminar is addressed primarily to staff and students, as well as doctoral students of philosophy, humanities, art and culture.
The American Philosophy and Culture lecture series is intended to foster international dialogue and research on classical American philosophy, such as pragmatism (and variants of neo-pragmatism), transcendentalism, and personalism, as well as on other traditions originating in or related to American thought and culture. As part of the series, Wrocław will be visited by world-renowned scholars who will give lectures on issues from various philosophical sub-disciplines: from the philosophy of science, through the philosophy of politics and ethics to aesthetics, metaphilosophy and philosophy of public philosophy. https://www.filozofia.uni.wroc.pl/Centrum-Filozofii-Kultury-i-Towarzystwo-Bachelardowskie/Wyklady-amerykanskie
In recognition of the complex history of the Lower Silesia region, the Institute of Philosophy cultivates the regional contributions to European philosophy in cooperation with German partners. To celebrate the 250th birthday anniversary of Wrocław (Breslau)-born Friedrich Schleiermacher, the conference with the participation of Professor Gunter Scholtz from Ruhr-Universität Bochum was held (November 2018). The Institute of Philosophy also actively supports the Jakob Böhme centre in Zgorzelec (former Görlitz).
The Institute of Philosophy is home to the philosophical quarterly Studia Philosophica Wratislaviensia (Editor-in-Chief: Professor Adam Chmielewski). Founded in 2005, the journal cultivates the best traditions of Polish philosophy, while exploring new grounds in both Polish and international research. The quarterly welcomes contributions from all philosophical subdisciplines and logic. Starting from 2019, Studia Philosophica Wratislaviensia is be bilingual, accepting papers in Polish and English.
The journal website: http://spwr.wuwr.pl/en.
The Institute of Philosophy consists of the following departments and centres:
- Department of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
Dr hab. Jacek Zieliński, Assistant Professor (Head of the Department)
Dr hab. Artur Pacewicz, Assistant Professor (Deputy Director of the Institute for Research)
Dr hab. Michał Głowala, Assistant Professor
Dr Paweł Wróblewski, Assistant Professor (Deputy Director of the Institute)
The Department’s research and teaching activities are dedicated to the thorough analysis of the philosophical considerations, starting from ancient philosophy, through early Jewish and Christian philosophy, Scholasticism, to their contemporary philosophical interpretations. The most important focal points include: the sources and specificity of Greek pre-Platonic philosophy, axiology, the philosophy of language, allegoresis as the method of interpretation (the Stoics, Philo, Origen), ancient metaphysics and ethics (Aristotle), scholastic metaphysics and ethics – including contemporary analytical metaphysics and analytical theory of action (approached historically and systematically) – as well as the reception of ancient philosophy, starting from patristics, through the Medieval reception of Greek culture, renaissance, to the 20th century.
- Department of Modern Philosophy
Prof. Radosław Kuliniak, Full Professor (Head of the Department)
Dr hab. Bogusław Paź, Associate Professor
Dr hab. Dorota Leszczyna, Assistant Professor
The Department has a long and developing history of multifaceted research in the following areas: modern philosophy (Descartes, Lebiniz, German Enlightenment philosophy, Immanuel Kant’s critical philosophy, etc.), the 19th- and 20th century Polish philosophy and Spanish philosophy. The research team comprised of Professor Dorota Leszczyna, Doctor Mariusz Pandura and Łukasz Ratajczak, MA, and formed and managed by Professor Radosław Kuliniak, conducts archival research on the 19th- and 20th century Polish philosophy (Polish reception of modern philosophy, the philosophy of the Lviv School, Roman Ingarden’s phenomenology). In 2017, Professor Bogusław Paź founded The Polish Leibniz Society dedicated to the popularisation of Gottfired Wilhelm Leibniz’s philosophy. Starting from 2013, Professor Dorota Leszczyna has been collaborating with The Madrid Foundation of José Ortega y Gasseta-Gregorio Marañon (The Fundación José Ortega y Gasset-Gregorio Marañón), conducting research and publishing papers on the 19th- and 20th century Spanish philosophy. The Department of Modern Philosophy has been pursuing several research projects funded the National Science Centre in Poland (Sonata and Opus research grants) and the National Programme for the Development of the Humanities.
- Department of Contemporary Philosophy
Dr hab. Leszek Kleszcz, Associate Professor (Head of the Department)
Dr Sławomir Barć, Assistant Professor
Dr Karol Morawski, Assistant Professor
Dr Cezary Rudnicki, Assistant Professor
The focal points of the Department’s research are the currents, problems and controversies of the 20th and 21st century philosophy. However, since some of these are deeply embedded in the philosophical tradition, the research scope also involves the 19th century philosophy, at times reaching as far back as to antiquity. The main area of study comprises the transformations of contemporary philosophy, as it was defined by the three consecutive turns: interpretive, linguistic and discursive. The Department is also dedicated to the critical reflection on the major problems of contemporaneity, such as “the death of the West”, “the death of man”, the nature and limits of the Enlightenment, globalisation, the transformation of contemporary culture – the transition from the culture based on language to the culture based on images, the idea of contemporary culture as the conglomerate of religious, political and philosophical elements. The research also involves the following issues: the concept of culture and its foundations; the crisis of culture, counterculture; understanding, dialogue, the conditions of effective communication; interpretation as an epistemological foundation; intercultural and interreligious dialogue; the philosophical aspects of Buddhism and the differences and similarities between the philosophy of the East and the West.
Against this background, the following specific research topics are addressed: the interpretive nature of cognition, the question of understanding, the methodological foundations of the social sciences, the hermeneutical analysis of the processes of the social creation of senses, discourse as the cognitive framework for the social sciences, pre-judgmental nature of thinking, the theory of communicative actions, the problems of the contemporary philosophy of religion, controversies around deep ecology.
- Department of German Philosophy
Dr hab. Leon Miodoński, Associate Professor (Head of the Department)
Dr hab. Beata Trochimska-Kubacka, Assistant Professor
Dr Monika Woźniak, Assistant Professor
The Department coordinates the research on different aspects of German philosophy, which belongs to the major areas of studies in The Institute of Philosophy. At this point, three research projects are in progress: The System of Critical Idealism in the Context of Aesthetics; Jakob Friedrich Fries’s Philosophy of Religion and its Continuation; Between Rationalism and Esotericism – the Idea of a Better Reality in the Philosophy of the Romantic Turn. The Department collaborates with The Humboldt University in Berlin. The cooperation resulted in the publication of the joint volume, System und Subversion Friedrich Schleiermacher und Henrik Steffens (2018). In 2018, the Department organised two conferences: “The Category of the End in Philosophy and Theology” and “Neo-Kantianism – Currents and Contexts”.
- Department of Ontology and Philosophy of Nature
Prof. Marek Łagosz, Full Professor (Head of the Department)
Dr hab. Maciej Dombrowski, Assistant Professor
Dr Zbigniew Pietrzak, Assistant Professor
The Department conducts research on the methodology of ontology (related to the various applications of the Ockham razor). Another major area of research involves the ontology of time, broadly understood: the physical, phenomenological and social (specifically – the Marxist labour theory of value) aspects of the temporality of being. Phenomenologically oriented ontology of consciousness has been developed. Possible ontological interpretations of the real world are addressed, including such problems as: realness, elementary entities, continuity, infiniteness, the temporality of existence, the limits of the materialist conception of the world. Another important subject of ontological and epistemological research involves Polish inter-war philosophy: the theories of S.I. Witkiewicz, B.J. Gawecki, J. Metallmann. The research conducted in the Department is strongly rooted in natural sciences – the areas of research also include the mathematization of natural sciences (the mathematization of biology) and Robert Boyle’s philosophy of sciences. The results of all these research activities are published in prestigious Polish philosophical journals and presented during many academic conferences.
- Department of Aesthetics
Dr hab. Roman Konik, Associate Professor (Head of the Department)
Dr Agnieszka Bandura, Assistant Professor
Dr Piotr Martin, Assistant Professor
The members of the Department run the academic research and teaching activity in the field of: the history of aesthetics (esp. the ancient and medieval aesthetics, the Renaissance art theory/ aesthetics of disegno, and the modern German aesthetics); contemporary aesthetic thought and movements (esp. aesthetic phenomenology, analytic aesthetics, structuralism, philosophy of literature and performative arts, Frankfurt School of Critical Theory and new empirical and environmental trends in aesthetics).
The most actual topics concern the problem of image, aesthetic imagination and perception, along with visual thinking and the questions of metacriticism.
The researchers are focused on the analysis, interpretation and critique of both traditional as new media of art, such as painting and sculpture, new media (tech- and bio-art), photography, performance and theatre. They join their academic activity with critical writing and literary criticism (publishing in aesthetic, artistic and literary journals) and stay in a mutual artistic-scientific cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Wroclaw since over the decade. In 2018 they inaugurated a series of international transdisciplinary aesthetic seminars on art, nature and aesthetic imagery (“Aesthetics and Nature”; “Expanding the Limits of Philosophy, Arts and Aesthetics”).
- Department of Ethics
Dr hab. Mirosław Żarowski, Associate Professor (Head of the Department)
Dr hab. Paweł Korobczak, Assistant Professor (Deputy Director of the Institute for Teaching)
Dr Eli Orner Kramer, Associate Professor
Dr Andrzej Lorczyk, Assistant Professor
To the main research areas of Department of Ethics belong: history of ethics, of which we can emphasize the Aristotelian and Stoic tradition, Polish ethical thought of 12th-20th centuries and position of ethicality in Friedrich Nietzsche’s and Martin Heidegger’s thought. Also we deal with ethics in context of main metaphysical and ontological questions, rise and search questions of the role of ethics in religious context, investigate position of ethics in pedagogical and ecological thought, and also didactics of ethics and philosophical education in context of contemporary dispute about the shape of culture.
Department of Ethics is active on different areas of the scientific activities, like conferences, publications of articles and monographs, didactics of ethics at the university as well, as cooperation with high schools in the scope of didactics of ethics. As the most significant achievements we can point out Maria Kostyszak’s monograph Controversy on Language. Critique of Ontotheology in Nietzsche's, Heidegger and Derrida's Writing (Wrocław 2010) that enters the space of question on language in its crucial role within the ethical area. We can’t pass over Andrzej Lorczyk’s edition of manuscripts of Henryk Elzenberg – Polish philosopher who developed his peculiar theory of values. Two volumes: Human Being in Context of Values in Henryk Elzenberg’s Philosophy (Wrocław 1998) and Axiological Writings (together with Lesław Hostyński and Agnieszka Nogal) (Wrocław 2002) are of great importance for researches on this topic. Paweł Korobczak’s monograph A Concealed Ethical Dimension in Martin Heidegger’s Thought (Wrocław 2018), where the question of possible ontological structure of ethical dimension is being investigated, could also be mentioned as the most recent publication of our department.
- Department of Political and Social Philosophy
Prof. Adam Chmielewski, Full Professor (Head of the Department)
Dr Dominika Jacyk-Manikowska, Assistant Professor
Dr hab. Mariusz Turowski, Assistant Professor
Dr Urszula Lisowska, Assistant Professor
Dr Andrzej Orzechowski, Senior Lecturer
The Department of Political and Social Philosophy, chaired by Professor Adam Chmielewski, frequently organises international conferences. The most recent of them were the Tenth Annual Conference of the International Society for MacIntyrean Enquiries, “Communities in Transition” (May 2016), and the series of “Exclusive Citizenship” conferences held in the Institute of Philosophy and the Department of Philosophy at Bursa Uludağ University (Turkey). Professor Adam Chmielewski recently spoke at the conference “Religion and Humanitarianism in the New Age of Nationalism” at the University of California, Berkeley. His paper Rethinking an Central European City won a Ludwik Krzyzanowski Award for the best article published in The Polish Review in 2017, awarded by the Board of Directors of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America (PIASA). Two books by the members of the Department have recently been awarded prestigious national awards: C.B. Macpherson: Possessive Individualism and the Dilemmas of Contemporary Political Ontology (published in Polish) by Professor Mariusz Turowski, which received the Prime Minister academic award (2017), and Imagination, Art and Justice – Martha Nussbaum Capabilities Approach as the Foundation of Egalitarian Liberalism (published in Polish) by Dr Urszula Lisowska, which was published in the “Monographs” series of the Foundation for Polish Science (2017). Members of the Department are also involved in many translation projects. The most prominent of them include the Polish versions of the works by Alasdair MacIntyre, Richard Shusterman and Chantal Mouffe.
- Department of Philosophical Anthropology
Prof. Maciej Manikowski, Full Professor
Dr hab. Ilona Błocian, Associate Professor (Director of the Institute)
Dr Alina Jagiełłowicz, Assistant Professor
The Department is focused on: philosophical anthropology in its historical and systematical sense; the philosophy of culture; the philosophy of health or philosophy of the human condition; philosophy of religion in its historical and systematical sense; Russian philosophy. The Department founded the cooperation with Sankt-Petersburg State University, University of Ostrava (Czech Republic), University of Olomouc (Czech Republic). Within the Department we pursue research projects ion the philosophy of evil, the philosophy of religious mysticism (17th century), the philosophy of health and human voice, the philosophy of symbolism and myth.
A new Centre for Religious Studies was constituted within the Department on October 1st, 2018, and the special programme of studies “Philosophy – Studies on Religion and Intercultural Dialogue” was launched.
- Department of Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind
Prof. Damian Leszczyński, Full Professor (Head of the Department)
Dr Elżbieta Walerich, Assistant Professor
The Department’s research covers the broad area of epistemology, adopting both the transcendental perspective (cognitive structures, a priori knowledge and its subjective conditions) and the naturalist one (biological and cultural conditions of cognition). Important focal points include the issue of perception – in epistemic and aesthetic contexts alike – and the phenomenological analysis of consciousness, especially of the preliminary “attitudes” which determine experience. Apart from that, the Department addresses questions from the methodology and philosophy of science (the status of conventions in advanced scientific theories and the problem of scientific development), as well as metaphilosophy (the nature and methods of philosophy, philosophy versus other types of inquiry).
Centre for History of Lower Silesian Philosophy
Dr hab. Leon Miodoński, Associate Professor – leading researcher
Dr Joanna Giel – researcher
The Centre is structurally linked to the Department of German Philosophy. It participates in the programme “Der Aufbau der Universität Breslau unter preußischer Regierung ab 1811 – Ein Baustein zur Schlesischen Universitätsgeschichte” (“The Development of the University of Wrocław under the Prussian rule after 1811 – a Contribution to the History of Silesian Universities”), conducted in collaboration with The Humboldt University in Berlin. Currently, two books dedicated to philosophy in Lower Silesia are in preparation: Filozofia we Wrocławiu (Philosophy in Wrocław) and Mistyka krzeszowska (Krzeszów Mysticism).
Centre for Philosophical Education
The Centre is dedicated to the teaching of philosophy outside the academia. It cooperates with teachers from Wrocław’s schools. Its activities include the organisation of trainings for teachers of philosophy and ethics, as well as educational initiatives addressed to pupils at all levels of education (such as annual Philosophical Picnics, workshops, etc.). The Centre is also involved in the popularising philosophical events for the general public, such as the Socrates Café discussion club and the Philosophical Tuesdays lecture series.
Centre for Prognostic Research on Religious Changes
Dr Paweł Wróblewski, Assistant Professor – leading researcher
Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and Philosophy of Culture “Man Between Nature and Culture”
Dr hab. Ilona Błocian, Associate Professor – leading researcher
Ingarden Research Center
Dr hab. Radosław Kuliniak, Associate Professor – leading researcher
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