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201. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Ulrich Schrade Tadeusz Kotarbiński’s United Humanity Concept
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The eminent 20th-century Polish philosopher Tadeusz Kotarbiński (1886–1981) is the author of a novatory philosophy of combating global suffering. Kotarbiński’s theory states that although humans are by nature rational, and additionally endowed with goodwill, human life nonetheless offers an endless stream of pain and suffering. Some of this suffering results from the essence of the human condition and can not be helped, mostly, however, it is the effect of the meanderings of the human mind and can be eliminated by education. More than by anything else, the human mind is brought to err by so-called phantasmats, or emotion-laden intellectual mirages, mainly of a religious, national and political nature. Such phantasmats are the source and fundament of humanity’s divisions into hostile cultures, nations and political systems, which in turn gives rise to conflict between civilizations, countries and ideologies, inadvertently accompaniedby mounting mistrust, suspiciousness, xenophobia, hatred, armaments—and ultimately war. All this means an ocean of suffering for countless individuals. Both in philosophy and praxis Kotarbiński strove to eliminate all sources of suffering, including that stemming from differences in culture, development, nationality, and politics. He believed in the motivating powers of reason and the creative powers of persuasion, and consequently sought to attain his goal by rationalization, or focusing solely on the logic-driven and common experiencing of the human fate in a bid to eradicate cultural, national and political difference. Thus united, humanity would melt into one big human state devoted to lingering inevitable suffering. Today similar views are promoted as “global humanism”—which makes Kotarbiński a pioneer of the Humanistic Manifesto 2000. An Appeal for New Global Humanism brochure.
202. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Werner Krieglstein The Ancient, Prebuddhist, Tibetan Bon Religion as a Form of Compassionate Spirituality in Tune With Nature, a Comment
203. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Maciej Magura Goralski The Ancient, Prebuddhist, Tibetan Bon Religion as a Form of Compassionate Spirituality in Tune With Nature
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The paper aims at presenting a very simplified outline of the Bono religious tradition of Tibet. Furthermore, the author argues that certain religious traditions are more “heaven-oriented” while others, more “earth-concerned”. This division is meant to show the importance of realizing the aim of any given philosophy or religious lore. It might be said that the present world crisis and human dilemma is caused mainly by misguided thinking and doing things in accordance with some dated or unrealistic dogma. The author does not try to promote “Eastern” philosophy as superior or put down “Western” philosophy as inferior. Rather one tries to present the situation and wait for what comes next naturally.
204. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Adam Kotarbiński Memories of My Father
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In this reminiscence I present some personal and little-known memories of my Father Tadeusz Kotarbiński. Among others, I dwell on his personality, the family atmosphere he created, his teaching talents, and his attitude towards the authorities of his times. I also speak about his artistic skills (notably his pencil drawings and poetry), his everyday language and the language of his lectures, as well as his hobbies like mushrooming, Polish bowling, and others.
205. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Marian Marek Drozdowski The Truth Never Dies. The Jewish Population of the World in View of the Warsaw Uprising 1944
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For Polish Jews, Warsaw was an important center of social and cultural life. It was the biggest center of Jewish community and culture in Europe. It was also here that the greatest tragedy of this community took place, made still more dramatic by the transports of the Jews from various European and Polish cities. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising reminds us of the egoism of the societies of the Allied powers. Similarly the lonely fight of the heroes of the Warsaw ghetto reminds us of the lonely fight of the insurgents of Warsaw in 1944. Both uprisings involved the whole society. They differed only in the scale of military operations conducted and in their duration.Polish Jews, as well as the Jews from other countries, observed with deep interest the course of insurgent fights, in which a small number of Warsaw Jews saved from extermination and Jews from many European countries, liberated by the insurgents, took part. The feeling of community of fate of the Polish and Jewish nations was a phenomenon of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944; it was a harmony that was never achieved again. Jews, citizens of different countries and members of different organizations loudly demanded help for the heroic but forlorn insurgents.
206. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Eligiusz Dymowski St. Francis of Assisi as an Example of Humanistic Ecumenism
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Today’s world is one of quick civilization changes, influencing the development of human thought and the understanding of many basic values. Particularly the last decades have posed a concrete question about freedom and its limitations. The value of freedom is still today being reborn and restructured, once suspicious as a source of sin, now a challenge and a responsible task for the human. Similar questions have also arisen as to the ideas of human dignity and mutual respect, as inherent parts of the human condition.The contemporary world, despite being a new era in human history, does not, in fact, differ much from the Europe of the Middle Ages—divided and united by Christianity, paradoxical in that we strive to build solidarity and closeness and at the same time feel lost and helpless against the evil of the world. With that knowledge we may avoid unnecessary tragedies, learning from St. Francis times, where there was everything in that world—wars, fears, diseases on the one hand, asceticism and self-denial on the other—but no joy. A question may arise whether the voice of St. Francis would still be heard and listened to today. Whether his example would teach love, ecumenism and evangelical joy.The word «ecumenism» is and has been widely used, but often without any deeper reflection on its rich history and variety of meanings. Against the divisions and hatred of contemporary world, the idea of ecumenism increases its importance, becoming one of the main areas of Christian concern. Vatican II brought about a new era of ecumenical thinking, not only defining the theological basis for dialogue, but most importantly, showing its value and encouraging active participation of the faithful. Such participation requires, however, a man’s inner change–which cannot occur without appropriate formation and everyday practice of ecumenism. That presupposes respect for the other, pursuance of mutual trust, openness to widely understood cooperation and elimination of prejudice and fears. Such formation and change must encompass everyone without any difference, laymen and clergy, the faithful and the searching, so that the actions show true concern for the human as such. In that sense, ecumenism is an “inner conversion” (as says A. Skowronek), a new attitude towards the other—religion, human, culture.Against the above mentioned background, one can say that St. Francis exceeded whole centuries of ecumenical dialogue. However, to analyze his phenomenon, one must concentrate on the historical picture, leaving aside any strictly legendarymythological images.St. Francis’s popularity seems to be—almost irrationally—growing with the passage of time, despite not offering anything new or revealing. As a matter of fact, St. Francis reappears in all centuries, teaching the Christian message and teaching to love. His humanism is realized in kindness, solidarity, authentic respect and pure love of God and the human. The human is central in St. Francis’s thinking—great, beautiful and dramatic, full of dignity, and full of the conflict of his inborn goodness and threatening evil. The key to understanding him is only love, assuring freedom and spiritual richness. Yet St. Francis claims: Love is not loved. Re-reading the Gospel anew is a way to meet that Love, and oneself.The human always needed love. Love is inextricably connected with goodness and hence a positive relation towards the other. Those qualities, together with respect, acceptance and search for the truth, are also fundamental to ecumenism. Love appears to be the answer. St. Francis loved not only God, not only the human, but he loved and praised the beauty of all of God’s creation, his love being “the most literal realization of the message contained in the Gospel” (K. Starczewska). But as the first step to love and respect is for the human to respect his own dignity in himself. In that way, he shall also discovers his right to freedom and the truth about himself.The conclusion is the following: Undoubtedly, the character of St. Francis is a universal one. He spoke of his love of God—and human—in concrete deeds of love, never in abstract concepts. Tradition and legend have partly made St. Francis to a cheerful, carefree troubadour of love; however, he knew well the modern world, with its disagreements, hatred and half-truths. A simple tool in God’s hand, he made others overcome the prejudice in them and shake hands in reconciliation, practicing good deeds. Whether that still happens today, and the world adopts St. Francis’s humanistic attitude, depends also on us.
207. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Napoleon Ono Imaah The Warsaw Uprising and Architecture: The Truth Never Dies
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The paper examines the Warsaw Uprising in the light of the various shades of truth, which caused it: philosophical truth; religious truth; political truths and scientific truth. The paper relates these motley truths to specific situations, status and the roles played by the major actors: the Home Army [Armia Krajowa, AK], the Polish resistance group, German Army, Soviet Army, and the Allied Forces, along with the Unknown Soldiers who fought during the Second World War in Poland. The author concludes that the ultimate version of truth, which manifests in the creative construction, destruction and reconstruction of Warsaw, never dies.
208. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Marian M. Czarniecki Mediotism and Mediots. A Contemporary Challenge
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The author first used the neologisms mediot and mediotism in a series of 1973 essays. Both anagrams of “media idiot”, they base on the Greek idiotes in its meaning of “non-specialist” or “ignorant” rather than mentally backward. The terms basically refer to recipients of printed, electronic and digital media-press readers, TV viewers, radio listeners and internauts. Mediots uncritically accept all the media say, will-lessly allowing them to mould their minds and souls like plasticine. As if hypnotized, they readily submit to every fashion, stereotype or snobbery the media propagate.Mediotism is a limitation and sign of contemporary humanity’s spiritual and intellectual weakness. At the same time, it constitutes an enormous challenge. Mediotism symptoms are easy to spot—they appear in all social classes and professions and on all education levels; its closest relatives are functional illiteracy and Erich Fromm’s “consumer idiot”.It is worth noting that mediotism and mediot have become commonly used terms in public (especially political) debate thanks to author’s two book publications and radio appearances.
209. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Teresa Prekerowa Jews in the Warsaw Uprising
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Historians estimate that between 10 and 15 thousand Jews were hiding out in Warsaw before the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. One of the aid organizations, the Jewish National Committee received a larger amount of money in late July but managed to distribute only some of it. Then rest went for various forms of aid during the fighting and after the uprising fall—for those who survived. The Varsovians’ attitude towards the Jews varied. The civilian authorities tried to help all who found themselves in extreme conditions, Poles and Jews. Many Jews bravely fought in many battles in the city along with their Polish compatriots and their fate is presented in the article.
210. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Małgorzata Czarnocka Dialogue and Universalism Wisdom of the Virtual University and Metanoia of Civilizations Network
211. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Jan Woleński Naturalism and Reism
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This paper compares Kotarbiński’s reism and naturalism. It argues that basic ontological and epistemological reistic principles fit naturalism very well. In particular, the thesis claiming that there are only spatiotemporal things (bodies) gives a very simple naturalistic account of reality. Radical realism defended by Kotarbiński is a version of direct realism, a view about perception which is very accurate for naturalism. On the other hand, since difficulties of reism are also problems for naturalism, the former illuminates typical challenges for the latter.
212. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3/4
Arkadiusz Modrzejewski Karol Wojtyła’s Universalistic Vision of the History and Civilization
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Despite Karol Wojtyła later to become Pope John Paul II was firstly a moral and anthropological philosopher, his reflection also concerns in historiosophical and civilizational issues. This part of his intellectual activity is rather less known. But Wojtyła was an author of original conception of history and civilization. Among different ways of historiosophical and civilizational interpretations we can find him as a representative of moderate universalism. He joined the belief in existence of universal history as well as the common values with a need of clear definition of human “ego” that could be realized thanks to concrete communities. He saw history in theological and philosophical aspects. Firstly, for him it was a universal history of salvation that is a participation of all nations and cultures as well as every real man. In a philosophical sense he emphasized the universal desire of getting to know the ultimate truth and gaining absolute good. His ethical model of universal civilization is based on the acceptation of cultural diversities. That is why it could be named as “ecumenical civilization”. Its main method is a dialogue that leads to truth and peace. We can find the source of Wojtyła’s universalism in a personalistic philosophy, which sees a proper subject of history and culture aswell as civilization in a person.
213. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3/4
Lucyna Wiśniewska-Rutkowska Unionism According to Jerzy Braun
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Jerzy Braun formulated the principles of unionism in forty five points constituting a concise, twenty-four-page manifesto entitled “Unionism. Basic Principles”. The text was published anonymously by a conspiratorial publishing in 1943. After over fifty years, on the initiative of All-Poland Club of Lithuania’s Lovers, it was reprinted—this time with the author’s name and lengthy explanations.My main objective is the analysis and interpretation of Braun’s text.Unionism, according to Braun, does not mean separatism, it is a principle and attitude based on integrating values that deserves definite ethics according to which activity directly derives from “voluntary accepted commitments”. Braun neither questions nor overestimates fight. Unionism means dialogue, agreement, but also this type of rivalry that remains in contradiction to a well-known saying “homo homini lupus est”. Unionism perceived as universalism, allows, according to the words of a romantic poet, “to differ beautifully”.The first part of the unionist principles comprises philosophical considerations inspired with the thought of Józef M. Hoene-Wroński. They constitute an introduction to more specific problems concerning the social and political life in the future Poland. Braun paid a lot of attention to “ideocratic” system in which emphasis moves from “persons, dynasties, reason of state to ideas”. He stressed the importance of economic and cultural dynamism, though economic achievement, in his opinion, should only serve the development of culture. The final parts of the unionist program present the necessity to unify the world in which Poland will find her proper position.
214. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3/4
Artur Paszko Unionism and Universalism in Jerzy Braun’s Thought. Some Remarks on Rafał Łętocha’s Book on Jerzy Braun
215. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3/4
Eugeniusz Górski Globalization, Universalism and Changes in the World--System
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The author outlines several globalization theories, focusing on those best represented in Polish literature. He clearly disagrees with the general definitions and interpretations of today’s globalization process, which he sets against the Polish universalistic tradition and its views on the world’s growing internationalization and universalization. Polish universalism embraces several nationally-oriented and Christian-universalistic philosophical schools.
216. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3/4
Grażyna Cetys-Ratajska Roads and Roadless Tracts of the Interwar Literary Criticism. About Jan Nepomucen Miller’s Universalism
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In this paper I present Jan Nepomucen Miller’s universalism, i.e. his own conception of literature, which pursues the right to compete with its Romantic model. Universalism, whose elaboration of the philosophical premises took place in the years 1923-1925, never received a complete and finite form; it only indicated a certain option for which the whole, universality and universum was more important than a part. Although this conception proved to be a Utopian project, without its driving force, being too far from the reality to support the spiritual values of the Polish culture, it constitutes (especially in our interwar thought) one of unique attempts to create a culture based on a non-Romantic canon of values.
217. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3/4
Stanisław Borzym “Universalism” According to Władysław Leopold Jaworski and Othmar Spann
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Polish conservative thinker Władysław Leopold Jaworski developed an interest for the theories of Austrian philosopher Othmar Spann. Both accepted universalism, both also believed that universalism was inspired by romantic tradition, although Spann sought its roots much further back in history, even as far as Aristotle. Both authors staunchly criticized modern-day individualism and liberalism, which they considered fatal. In their opinion individualism and liberalism upset the primacy of totality in social thought, which led to multiple pathologies. Despite their accentuation of totality, both philosophers displayed very decided anti-totalitarian convictions typical for many conservatives.
218. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3/4
Subsequent Information On The Uw D&U Project: International Virtual University of Dialogue and Universalism (UW D&U)
219. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3/4
Zbigniew Wolak Universalism of Christianity, Logic, Philosophy and Science
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In this article I present a special contribution to universalism by the Cracow Circle (Bocheński, Drewnowski, Salamucha). Presented thinkers were scientists, philosophers and theologians, and tried to combine these disciplines in their works. They took standards of rationality from logic and other sciences, and applied them to Christian philosophy and theology. This kind of rationality can be considered universal and when we use this rationality in dialogue between religion and other worldviews, the dialogue has a chance to be really universal.
220. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3/4
Ryszard Stefański, Adam Zamojski The Universal Character of Andrzej Wierciński’s Concepts and Their Use in Social Sciences
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It is an attempt to exemplify the style of Wierciński’s scientific approach. The first part (A. Zamojski) presents his concept of the peculiarity of the specific human nature which is polarized into the animal side versus the human potential. The second part (R. Stefański) describes the anthropological concept of ideological development with the focus on the notion of ideological control subsystem. The latter can be employed as a tool of surveying the internal consistency of social organizations.