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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 19, Issue 8/9, 2009
Henryk Elzenberg — Axiology, Ethics and the Philosopy of Culture

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Displaying: 1-11 of 11 documents

1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 8/9
Włodzimierz Tyburski An Introduction to the Biography and Intellectual Personality of Henryk Elzenberg
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The first part of this comment presents the biography of Henryk Elzenberg whose creative life is shared between four centers of intellectual life in Poland: Cracow, Warsaw, Vilnius and Toruń.The second part of this article depicts the creative profile of H. Elzenberg: a philosopher forming an axiological vision of world and man, directing attention towards a general theory of value; where he placed the foundation for his ethics, esthetics and the philosophy of man.
2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 8/9
Lesław Hostyński, Małgorzata Sady Formal Axiology of Henryk Elzenberg
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The article is a presentation of Henryk Elzenberg’s system of formal axiology He is one of the most eminent Polish axiologists and moral philosophers of the 20th century. His system of philosophy of value is built on three pillars: (1) a clear differentiation between two concepts of value: utilitarian and perfect; (2) connection of the concept of perfect value with that of obligation by definition; (3) approaches obligation pertaining to being as oppose to deed. The starting point is differentiation into utilitarian value (which wasn’t a value in axiological meaning) and perfect value, at the same time the main aim of his researches is the determination and analysis of the term perfect value “a valuable object in a perfect sense this is an object as it should be”. The perfect value contains, as it were, an imperative to fulfill it. Beauty, goodness and sanctity are the basic variations of perfect value.
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 8/9
Krzysztof Stachewicz Henryk Elzenberg Wager for Values. Axiological and Methodological Aspects
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The wager for values proposed by Henryk Elzenberg seems to be an interesting and important problem in axiological thinking. That is why one should take a close look at Elzenberg’s reasoning and at certain consequences of such point of view. We analyze this problem as a parallel to Pascal’s Wager for God. One should live and act as if God existed—it is an effect of Pascal’s Wager. One should live and behave as if perfect values existed—this is the essence of Elzenberg’s wager. Paralel analysis of both standpoints lets us formulate numerous hypotheses and statements especially in axiology.
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 8/9
Andrzej Lorczyk, Maria Kostyszak Discipline on the Way. On Henryk Elzenberg’s Method
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Searching for what is common to all Henryk Elzenberg’s works, the author of the paper wishes to reveal the uniqueness of his ways of thinking. For this purpose, the author points at a variety of intellectual ways Elzenberg explored, considers the links between thinking and action, and asks a question about the aim of thinking and its relation to what was thought earlier. The independence of Elzenberg’s thinking, his diligence and seriousness grounded on the importance of issues he touched on render his philosophizing a case of ethical action. The firmness of the analyses that the Polish philosopher performed—particularly in the field of axiology—comes together with responsibility for the subject matter of his thinking. Strict mental discipline he managed to maintain in the face of values as well as his determination to hold onto them in his own life make Elzenberg a Master who is himself an instantiation—exemplum—of integrity in thinking. Maybe, we also could learn something from him, and, however difficult challenge it may seem, maybe it would be worthwhile to take it on and go our own way.
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 8/9
Ryszard Wiśniewski On the Benefits of Studying Elzenberg’s Axiology and Ethics
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The article takes up some fundamental topics of Henryk Elzenberg’s axiological and ethical thought, whose philosophical attitude was called a religion of values. Author focuses his attention especially on Elzenberg’s recognizing value as a process of giving life meaning and importance and the role of reason in intuitive cognition of value, on attempt to gain insight into world of negative values, on effort of ordering of relative values, on the process of displacing imperative function of ethics by advisory and recommending function. In the end the author considers the place of transcendentalism in the ethics of Elzenberg.
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 8/9
Anna Drabarek From Subjective Evaluations to Objective Values. Henryk Elzenberg’s Conception of Ethics
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In his ethical considerations famous Polish philosopher Henryk Elzenberg proposes an authentic cognition of moral values. He discerns a conflict between two ways of thinking, scientific and evaluating. According to Elzenberg the more often a statement is rational the less it grasps reality. Therefore he considers intuitive cognition of value as the most effective one. His attitude towards neopositivism and scientism is definitely negative. In his new epistemology of values attention should be paid primarily to a method of evaluation since a cognitive effect is strictly dependent on this method. Elzenberg’s ascetics, approached as concentrating on higher aims, necessity of universal cognition of a subject of evaluation and confronting newly formulated judgments with the ones by competent people, can our imperfect intuitions of perfect values make trustworthy. Our image of the world defines the boundaries of our evaluations. Utilitarian values constitute just a prelude to entering the world of perfect values.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 8/9
Anita Benisławska Intuition and Introspection Problems in Henryk Elzenberg’s Philosophy
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Intuition and introspection are very interesting terms in Elzenberg’s thought. The intuition is connected with the earlier phase of Elzenberg’s philosophy. Intuition is a form of world cognition. It is tool of selection of the contents. In Elzenberg’s philosophy introspection is a later term than intuition. It may lead intuition but is not a necessity. Process of cognition can finish with introspection which is a phase of information collection. In this meaning introspection creates circumstances for intuition. Introspection is a form of analysis internal human world but intuition permits discovery of new worlds. According to Elzenberg we can find intuition in art and in mysticism. Introspection in ethical and aesthetical texts has often existed. Intuition has most spectacular character than introspection generally. Intuition is a form of discovery of different human worlds while introspection is form of research of them.
philosophy of culture
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 8/9
Tadeusz Kobierzycki, Filip Maj The Trouble with the Notion of Loneliness
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Henryk Elzenberg, a Polish axiologist, existentialist wrote about loneliness in the 30 contexts of the soul, virtues, protection, culturalization and personality, etc. He bases the negative image of loneliness on the identification of deficits, and the positive one on the identification of their transcendence (love, freedom, salvation). My text is an attempt to reconstruct the philosophy of loneliness on the basis of the book Kłopot z istnieniem. Aforyzmy w porządku czasu, 1907–1963 [Trouble with Existence. Aphorisms in the Order of Time].
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 8/9
Helena Ciążela Elzenberg, Gandhi and the Historical Perspective (The Problem of “One’s Own Face” in Fight Over World Outlook)
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The subject of this article is the attitude of a famous Polish philosopher of the twentieth century, Henryk Elzenberg towards practical work and theoretical achievements of Mohandas Karamczand Gandhi. The analysis of the issue focuses on a question: to what degree are Elzenberg’s opinions about Gandhi’s thought and work an attempt to understand the phenomenon of a moral revolution of the spiritual leader and to what degree are they a presentation of his own comprehension of philosophy? The analysis shows that Elzenberg treats philosophy as an area of confrontation, where referring to others develops his own approach.
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 8/9
Piotr Domeracki Aristocratism of the Spirit in Henryk Elzenberg’s Philosophy
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Elzenberg’s philosophy is usually defined as perfectionism, culturalism, pessimism, conservatism, or asceticism. Despite the accuracy and validity of the above mentioned terms it seems, however, that none of them fully encompass the characteristics of the view, tending rather to focus on its given profile. One term that, in my opinion, can be regarded as a suitable candidate for the role is “aristocratism of the spirit”, which embraces perfectionism, culturalism and asceticism as well as pessimism, conservatism and outsiderism. In debating on the elzenbergian variety of this idea I would like to put forward his relation to, or entanglement with the tendency to think in the categories of the aristocratism of the spirit, that has been present since the dawn of philosophy. I use the tentative term “entanglement” here, as Elzenberg in his writings never declared, either openly or indirectly, any (formal) adherence to a movement, including the movement of the aristocratism of the spirit. My ascribing Elzenberg to this movement is a convention of interpretation, imposed upon his philosophy for heuristic reasons.
11. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 8/9
Agnieszka Nogal The Concept of Freedom in Henryk Elzenberg’s Thought
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Elzenberg opposes the rightness of violence. This is a horizon on which appears a space for freedom in its two dimensions, which contemporarily is defined as negative and positive. Elzenberg’s negative freedom—necessary and essential—is freedom from one’s own biologicality but also from violence, whilst positive freedom—desired and valuable—the freedom to pursue values, is conditioned by the first.Man can be enslaved by his own body, the force applied by political authority or by ideology. He will not pursue truth then. He can do this only by freeing himself through satisfying his elementary needs and by way of asceticism from biological determinism, ignoring the sphere of political pressure, and reaching the truth in order to contemplate and realize beauty and good. Freedom is opposed on the one hand by biology and on the other, by violence. Force therefore, even when it is used in the name of truth, opposes the very principle in whose defense it has been enlisted.