The History and Philosophy of Polish Logic

Mulligan, Kevin, Katarzyna Kijania-Placek & Tomasz Placek, eds., The History and Philosophy of Polish Logic. Essays in Honour of Jan Woleński, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, 320 p., ISBN 9781137030900, prix 60£.

The history of interwar Polish logic, including philosophical logic, is still a relatively little known area, especially if compared with the movement’s well-documented contemporaries – the Vienna Circle or the Berlin Circle, for instance. The book aims to address this lacuna, by presenting the state of the art of research into this part of the history of analytic philosophy. It comprises thirteen essays, written by outstanding philosophers and exemplifying different approaches to the history of philosophy. One approach focuses on some little known aspects of Polish philosophy (e.g., Leśniewski’s arithmetic, Tarski’s geometry, philosophy of mathematics in interwar Krakow), analyzing it in great detail, sometimes by using current formal techniques. Another group of papers looks at the inspiration the Poles got from the founding fathers of analytic philosophy (Frege, Husserl, Wittgenstein), and locates Polish philosophy in the larger landscape of European analytic philosophy. Finally, some contributors pick a topic from the Polish school (sometimes only mentioned, but not developed by the Poles), and construct an alternative account which is then compared with the earlier account. Most of the papers were presented at a symposium celebrating the 70th birthday of Jan Woleński, whose book Logic and Philosophy of the Lvov-Warsaw School has played a substantial role in sparking contemporary interest in Polish analytic philosophy.

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