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Department of History of Philosophy, Systematic Philosophy and Ethics

Areas of research conducted in the Department

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, GWF 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 important part of the research is also an extensive translation activity. Details on scientific publications, translations as well as 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 “Library of Studies in the History of Philosophy” 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 ethicsa 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”.