The Lublin School of Philosophy

The Lublin School of Philosophy
Some brief remarks on the Lublin School of Philosophy
Hugh McDonald's home page.

By the Lublin School of Philosophy I am referring to the body of philosophical work of philosophers who have been variously associated with the Catholic University of Lublin. Lublin is a city in Poland that dates back to the early middle ages. There are two universities in Lublin, one being the Catholic University of Lublin (Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski identified as KUL), and the other being the University of Marie Curie Skladowski (UMCS).

A School of Philosophy?

The term "school" when used in reference to collaboration in philosophy is ambiguous. In a narrow sense, it can refer to a rigid institution that requires that disciples rigidly adhere to the teaching of masters. In this sense, the existence of a "school" may be indeed antithetical to the philosophical enterprise of objective and unbiased enquiry into the nature of reality. Perhaps this would apply to the Pythagorean school of ancient times.

In a broader sense, a school of philosophy suggests a group of people who spend time together in philosophy and work out common solutions and approaches to philosophical problems. It does not imply doctrinaire agreement or philosophy by decree. For example, we speak of the analytic school of philosophy, but that refers to a group of philosophers only vaguely centered around Oxford and Cambridge, and by no means are they all in complete agreement. At the very least, however, they refer to one another's works, and there is some continuity of reference.

Some of the philosophers who contributed to volumes representing the philosophy of the so-called Lublin School have objected to being affiliated with a school. As any university, the philosophers of KUL are engaged in several different activities.

The Lublin School as Pedagogical

First there are different areas of teaching. The university offers a masters degree based on ten semesters, or five years, in which the last year is spent in writing a master's thesis. The university also offers doctoral programs and post-doctoral degrees. A post-doctoral degree is called a habilitation, and the holder of such a degree is called a doctor habilitatus. As at any university, there is an agreed upon cirriculum at the undergraduate level, with required courses. Many of the text-books used in these courses have been written by professors of the Catholic University of Lublin, and in this sense, undoubtedly there is a school of philosophy in the narrow sense. The same professors who teach the core material also may offer specialized courses that reflect their own area of research, which are attended by students who are completing their master's degrees and by doctoral students. At this level, there is some diversification.

For example, Karol Wojtyla began teaching ethics at KUL in 1954. In his regular courses, he used a text called "Catholic Educational Ethics" (Katolicka Etyka Wychowawcza) written by Jacek Woroniecki O.P.. Jacek Woroniecki was rector of KUL for a time before World War II, later teaching in the Angelicum. In the years 1956-58, Karol Wojtyla presented a series of lectures, published at KUL as the "Lublin Lectures" (Wyklady Lubelskie), in which he presented some of his own investigations into the philosophical basis of ethics. In the first part of this work, he explores the relation of the human act and experience, comparing Max Scheler, Immanuel Kant, and the various "psychologists of the will". Here we see the beginning of his phenomenology of the human act that is developed in "The Acting Person" (Osoba i Czyn). He is beginning to find points of covergence between a descriptive or phenomenological approach to the human act, and a metaphysical approach, that speaks of the dynamism of the human act in Aristotelian terms of act and potency. Karol Wojtyla also presents the relation of "the Good" and "Value". Here he compares the philosophy of the "good", developed variously in Plato, Aristotle, Thomas and Augustine, with the philosophy of "value" as developed by Immanuel Kant and Max Scheler. Finally, he discusses norms and happiness, where he presents the classical philosophers on the "honest good", then Hume and Bentham as utilitarians, and finally Immanual Kant and Max Scheler as reacting to the utilitarians.


The Catholic University of Lublin

This bibliography will not include works by the Holy Father, John Paul II, written since he has become pope. Any additional information would be appreciated.

Works on the Lublin School

A Christian Humanism: Karol Wojtyla's Existential Personalism
by Andrew Woznicki
Mariel Publications

Dialogistic Thomism and Dialectical Marxism
by Andrew Woznicki
in The New Scholasticism, Col. LII, 2, Spring, 1978.

Philosophical Works by Karol Wojtyla

(More works mentioned below in the Peter Lang Collection)

Love and Responsibility
by Karol Wojtyla
translated by H.T. Willetts
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Inc. NY, 1981
The Acting Person
by Karol Wojtyla
translated by Andrzej Potocki
D. Reidel Publishing Co., Boston, 1979

Faith According to St. John of the Cross
by Karol Wojtyla
Translated by Jordan Aumann, O.P.
Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1981

Collections from the Catholic University of Lublin

Studies in Logic and Theory of Knowledge
edited by Ludwik Borkowski, Stanislaw Kaminski, Antoni B. Stepien
Towarzystwo Naukowe Katolickiego Uniwersytetu Lubelskiego, 1985
(Scientific Society of the Catholic University of Lublin)

Saint Thomas Aquinas: 700th Anniversary of His Death: Modern Interpretations of His Philosophy
edited by Stanislaw Kaminski, Marian Kurdzialek, Zofia J. Zdybicka
Towarzystwo Naukowe Katolickiego Uniwersytetu Lubelskiego, 1976
(Scientific Society of the Catholic University of Lublin)

Titles in the Peter Lang Series "Catholic Thought from Lublin"

Peter Lang Publishing Website
Being and Order: The Metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas in Historical Perspective
by Andrew Woznicki
ISBN 0-8204-0919-7/1900
309 pp./hardcover/$57.95

Metaphysics: An Outline of the History of Being
by Mieczyslaw Albert Krapiec, O.P.;
translated by Theresa Sandok, OSM
ISBN 0-8204-1448-4/1991
539 pp./hardcover/$69.95
vol. 3
Person and Religion: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
by Zofia J. Zdybicka, U.C.J.A.;
translated by Theresa Sandok, OSM
ISBN 0-8204-1447-6/1991
418 pp./hardcover/$69.95

vol. 4
Person and Community: Selected Essays
by Karol Wojtyla
translated by Theresa Sandok, OSM
ISBN 0-8204-1446-8/1993
370 pp./harcover/$39.95

vol. 5
Ethics and Morality
by Karol Wojtyla
translated by Hugh McDonald and Eva Wampuszyc
ISBN 0-8204-2087-5/forthcoming

vol. 6
Lectures from Lublin
by Karol Wojtyla;
translated by Hugh McDonald
ISBN 0-8204-1843-9/1993

vol. 7
Person and Natural Law
by Mieczyslaw Albert Krapiec, O.P.;
translated by Maria Szymanska, OSM
ISBN 0-8204-1843-9/1993
268 pp./hardcover/$51.95

vol. 8
St. Thomas Revisited
by Stefan Swiezawski
translated by Theresa Sandok, OSM
ISBN 0-8204-1844-7/1995
194 pp./harcover/$46.95

vol. 9
Metaphysical Animal: Divine and Human in Man
by Andrew Woznicki
ISBN 0-8204-2883-3/forthcoming

Other Titles

I-Man: An Introduction to Philosophical Anthropology
by Mieczyslaw A. Krapiec
New Britain, Ct., Mariel, 1983

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