Fields of research Philosophy Institute
Institute of Philosophy is divided into four departments:
- Department of Practical Philosophy
- Department of Social Philosophy
- Department of History of Philosophy, Systematic Philosophy and Ethics
- Department of Logic
Department of Practical Philosophy
The Department of Practical Philosophy cultivates philosophical and ethical reflection as well as scientific work focused on problems related to the active role of man in the world and responding to what is happening in the world: the state of culture, social phenomena, civilization changes, technology development, climate change, and others. As part of the Department’s activities, both classic and ancient concepts of a good life are developed. They determine the right place for a person in a changing world and determine the optimal and happy attitude towards the environment and theories and styles of thinking that respond to people’s latest problems or specific social groups. In the latter case, a philosophical reflection is developed that considers the impact of the broadly understood environment (e.g., the state of culture) on a person and situational ethics that takes into account the changing circumstances of operation. As a part of this Department’s work, a philosophy responding to threats in the surrounding reality is also developed. Its employees assume that philosophy’s ability to challenge common beliefs skeptically and habitually adopt patterns of thinking can help society avoid moral losses, cognitive errors, and civilization threats. The Department’s name refers to Aristotle’s division of sciences, distinguishing practical sciences as devoted to human activity, leading him to achieve happiness.
Department of Social Philosophy
Research by the Chair members focuses on the broadly understood social philosophy, emphasizing the philosophy of politics and culture. They deal with both contemporary and historical-philosophical issues. In terms of political philosophy, they focus, among other things, on:
- modern concepts of justice,
- a philosophical critique of neoliberalism, capitalism’s relations to cultural patterns of behavior and on the philosophical foundations of social liberalism,
- the issue of epistemic democracy and the status and role of expert knowledge in democratic practice,
- feminist philosophy.
In the field of theory of culture, the research includes:
- twentieth-century French thought – especially its existential trend,
- cultural anthropology,
- a practical approach to philosophical reflection (existential and phenomenological study) in medical sciences and psychology (philosophy of psychiatry, philosophy of medicine, philosophical therapy, existential psychology),
- broadly understood constructivist philosophy (from Richard Rorty’s neo-pragmatism to Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory).
Other studies conducted by the Department members include philosophical foundations of animal rights, Polish philosophy of the Romantic period, and the first half of the 20th century. Chair members also deal with the theory and practice of translating scientific texts, primarily philosophical ones.
Department of History of Philosophy, Systematic Philosophy and Ethics
Research in modern philosophy’s history focuses primarily on the German, British, and French language area achievements. Research into the philosophy of Spinoza and German philosophy, in particular G.W. Leibniz, I. Kant, J. Fichte, G.W.F. Hegel, and F. Nietzsche, has a decades-long tradition, and the result is the first Polish edition of “Collected Works by Immanuel Kant,” as well as numerous monographs and studies smaller. Research on modern French philosophy concerns the thoughts of R. Descartes, B. Pascal, P. Bayle, S. de Grouchy and aesthetes: Y. M. André, J.-B. Du Bos, Ch. Batteux. In British philosophy, systematic research concerns the greatest thinkers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: Th. Hobbes, A. A. C. Shaftesbury, J. Locke, G. Berkeley, A. Smith, D. Hume. The works concern the conceptual reconstruction of philosophical systems, epistemological and aesthetic issues, relations between philosophy and science, and philosophical aspects of social and religious matters. An essential part of the research is also an extensive translation activity. Details on scientific publications, translations, and current research tasks in the field of British philosophy can be found here.
The achievements in the field of contemporary philosophy include, first of all, phenomenology (E. Husserl) and philosophy and existential psychology (M. Heidegger, K. Jaspers, J.-P. Sartre, L. Binswanger, M. Boss, V. Frankl), as well as , more generally, the philosophy of man in the German language area (CG Jung, H.-G. Gadamer, A. Gehlen, M. Scheler, H. Schnädelbach, A. Honneth, T. Fuchs, Ch. Meinecke, J. Früchtl) and philosophy of W. James and G. Santayana.
Research on the reception of world philosophy in Polish philosophy constitutes a separate area. The most important results in this area were obtained thanks to systematic source research (conducted in Polish and Lithuanian archives and libraries) and international cooperation (including the Lithuanian Culture Research Institute in Vilnius and the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Kyiv). Unknown manuscripts of philosophical works by Józef Kalasanty Szaniawski, Franciszek Wigura, Józef Władysław Bychowiec, Jan Śniadecki, Anioł Dowgird, Jan Święcicki, Johann Heinrich Abicht, and others have been compiled and published. Most of the publications in this field are published in the “Biblioteka Studiów z Historii Filozofii” series.
Research in the field of ethics is a continuation of the many years of Toruń tradition, initiated by Tadeusz Czeżowski, Henryk Elzenberg, Stanisław Soldenhoff and developed by Włodzimierz Tyburski and Ryszard Wiśniewski. They cover issues related to areas such as the history of ethics, axiology, bioethics, ecophilosophy, hermeneutic ethics, and specific issues: the philosophy of loneliness, the problem of evil, ethics of virtue, medical ethics, or “little ethics.” The team of ethics aims to harmoniously reconcile the study of the native tradition of Polish ethics (the works of H. Elzenberg, T. Czeżowski, M. Ossowska, W. Tatarkiewicz, T. Kotarbiński) with contemporary ethical thought (A. Badiou, R. Esposito, A MacIntyre, B. Mijuskovic, P. Singer, Ch. Taylor, G. Vattimo).
For many years, the department staff has been working in philosophical aesthetics, mostly modern and contemporary aesthetics. They focus on the issues of taste, genius, beauty, sublime, and other aesthetic values, while the translations and monographs published so far and shorter studies concern the concept of A.A.C. Shaftesbury, A. Gerard, E. Burke, Y. M. André, J.-B. Du Bos, Ch. Batteux, I. Kant, F. Schiller, S. Maimon, and G. Santayana. The presentation of research results is used, among others, by the series “Aesthetics. Between tradition and modernity ”.
Research in the field of philosophical anthropology focuses on the classical projects of philosophical anthropology (M. Scheler, H. Plessner, A. Gehlen) and classical and contemporary German philosophy (JG Herder, F. Nietzsche, S. Freud, T. Adorno, M. Horkheimer, W. Benjamin, H. Blumenberg, P. Sloterdijk, T. Fuchs). The work also includes the preparation of translations of classical texts in the field of German philosophy (including F. Nietzsche, A. Gehlen, M. Scheler, H. Schnädelbach, A. Honneth, T. Fuchs, Ch. Meinecke, J. Früchtl).
Philosophical research on religion focuses on the main fields: philosophy of religion and religious studies. In the first case, they mainly concern the German philosophy of religion (I. Kant, J. G. Fichte, G. W. F. Hegel, and others), their interpretation, and contemporary reception. In religious studies, the primary research focuses on preliminary issues of religion’s theory and the history of religious studies, its origins, and methodology. The central part of the research in this field was published in the series “Religion – past and now,” in the form of scientific translations of source texts (F. M. Müller, K. P. Tiele, K. Jaspers, R. Bultmann), and others in the series “Monographs on the history of philosophy.”
Department of Logic
The main fields of research held by the Department include philosophical logic, in particular applications of formal methods in philosophy and logical semiotics. The following topics are of particular interest to the employees and doctoral students of the Department:
- non-classical logics (adaptive, epistemic, modal, paraconsistent, temporal, relating, logics determined by externally compatible equational theories);
- logics of names and logical systems of Leśniewski;
- algebraical logics (equational, P-compatible equational theories, connections between logic and universal algebra);
- mereology, pointless geometry, pointless topology;
- logical semiotics (basic research on semantics, pragmatics, philosophy of language);
- proof systems, tableau methods;
- applications of logical semiotics in cognitive science (non-monotonical reasonings, logical systems for artificial intelligence).