Jadwiga Guerrero van der Meijden, Ph.D.

Philosophy as an Investigation of the Roots of Things. 
Józef Maria Bocheński’s Thought and Philosophical Heritage

(In English)

In cooperation with Polish Institute, Stockholm

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Józef Maria Bocheński

Józef Maria Bocheński (1902-1995) is one of the most renowned Polish 20th-century logicians, analytic philosophers, Thomists and historians of philosophy.
As a member of the Dominican Order and a theologian, he contributed greatly to the development of the Cracovian Analytical School of Thomism. Even though primarily a logician and a preeminent historian of logic, having lived outside communist Poland (in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, USA) Bocheński wrote numerous philosophical works criticizing Marxism and the Soviet Union, thus becoming a well-known sovietologist. 
As a philosopher he was not just a theoretician, but a practically involved thinker invited numerous times to consult various governments (West Germany, South Africa, USA, Argentina, Switzerland). His concise and clear style of writing marks an achievement in popularizing philosophy. The overall corpus of his works includes 42 larger philosophical works, numerous talks, short essays and volumes thereof popularizing philosophy as well as almost two hundred scientific articles. Among these publications A History of Formal Logic (Formale Logik, 1956) stands out as the world-renowned contribution to the history of philosophy.

The main subject of the proposed lecture is Bocheński’s understanding of philosophy. Following a brief overview of the thinker’s various theoretical contributions (to logic, epistemology, moral and social philosophy, theology, sovietology) I will ask what common method and understanding of philosophy did he employ in his studies. The question ‘what is philosophy according to Bocheński’ comprises the main focus of the lecture. In order to illustrate Bocheński’s approach to philosophy understood as a radical questioning reaching to the very roots of things, I will focus on some specific themes he developed, in particular the Dominican’s theory of thinking, truth and a human being. This will demonstrate the consistency of the philosopher’s approach and enable the situating of the thinker within particular 20th-century philosophical traditions. I will also discuss Bocheński’s metaphilosophical observations distinguishing various methods of practicing philosophy. The lecture will be finalized with the analysis of the thinkers relevance to the contemporary culture and science.

Students and all interested participants are warmly invited to investigate the highlighted topics in Bocheński’s Introduction to Philosophy, chapters II, IV and VII (Philosophy – Truth – Man). Available as FULLTEXT at SUB

Jadwiga Guerrero van der Meijden

Bio: Jadwiga Guerrero van der Meijden, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Institute of Philosophy, Jagiellonian University in Cracow and lecturer at the Dominican Philosophical and Theological Collegium of the Province Poland. Her research focuses on patristics and medieval philosophy, phenomenology, Christian philosophy and personalism. She teaches ancient and medieval philosophy as well as philosophy of Edith Stein. Her publications include a monograph Person and Dignity in Edith Stein's Writings. Investigated in Comparison to the Writings of the Doctors of the Church and the Magisterial Documents of the Church (De Gruyter, Boston-Berlin, 2019), and a number of articles, encyclopedia entries, Recently, she translated A. MacIntyre’s book Edith Stein: A Philosophical Prologue, 1913-1922. Currently she is working on a monograph investigating the concept of human dignity in the writings of the Doctors of the Church.