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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 17, Issue 1/2, 2007
Wisdom of the Virtual University and Metanoia of Civilizations Network

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Displaying: 1-10 of 12 documents


1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Małgorzata Czarnocka Dialogue and Universalism Wisdom of the Virtual University and Metanoia of Civilizations Network
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i. tadeusz kotarbiński’s 120th birth anniversary (quand méme—at warsaw university)
2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Adam Kotarbiński Memories of My Father
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In this reminiscence I present some personal and little-known memories of my Father Tadeusz Kotarbiński. Among others, I dwell on his personality, the family atmosphere he created, his teaching talents, and his attitude towards the authorities of his times. I also speak about his artistic skills (notably his pencil drawings and poetry), his everyday language and the language of his lectures, as well as his hobbies like mushrooming, Polish bowling, and others.
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Jan Woleński Naturalism and Reism
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This paper compares Kotarbiński’s reism and naturalism. It argues that basic ontological and epistemological reistic principles fit naturalism very well. In particular, the thesis claiming that there are only spatiotemporal things (bodies) gives a very simple naturalistic account of reality. Radical realism defended by Kotarbiński is a version of direct realism, a view about perception which is very accurate for naturalism. On the other hand, since difficulties of reism are also problems for naturalism, the former illuminates typical challenges for the latter.
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Ulrich Schrade Tadeusz Kotarbiński’s United Humanity Concept
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The eminent 20th-century Polish philosopher Tadeusz Kotarbiński (1886–1981) is the author of a novatory philosophy of combating global suffering. Kotarbiński’s theory states that although humans are by nature rational, and additionally endowed with goodwill, human life nonetheless offers an endless stream of pain and suffering. Some of this suffering results from the essence of the human condition and can not be helped, mostly, however, it is the effect of the meanderings of the human mind and can be eliminated by education. More than by anything else, the human mind is brought to err by so-called phantasmats, or emotion-laden intellectual mirages, mainly of a religious, national and political nature. Such phantasmats are the source and fundament of humanity’s divisions into hostile cultures, nations and political systems, which in turn gives rise to conflict between civilizations, countries and ideologies, inadvertently accompaniedby mounting mistrust, suspiciousness, xenophobia, hatred, armaments—and ultimately war. All this means an ocean of suffering for countless individuals. Both in philosophy and praxis Kotarbiński strove to eliminate all sources of suffering, including that stemming from differences in culture, development, nationality, and politics. He believed in the motivating powers of reason and the creative powers of persuasion, and consequently sought to attain his goal by rationalization, or focusing solely on the logic-driven and common experiencing of the human fate in a bid to eradicate cultural, national and political difference. Thus united, humanity would melt into one big human state devoted to lingering inevitable suffering. Today similar views are promoted as “global humanism”—which makes Kotarbiński a pioneer of the Humanistic Manifesto 2000. An Appeal for New Global Humanism brochure.
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Adam Szpaderski The Importance of Tadeusz Kotarbiński’s Metapraxiology for Management Theory
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The thesis of this paper is that Tadeusz Kotarbiński’s metapraxiology and the studies by other members of the Polish Praxiological School it inspired, constitute promising material for the development of praxiology as a metatheory for management- and organization-related sciences. The idea of adopting praxiology as a metatheory for the study of management is a well-advanced and long-term research project, whose seven correlated areas I list in the main text. Comparative analyses of subject literature allow the conclusion that the basic theorems of praxiology, i.e. its practical directives (both as logical and normative sentences), are in many ways similar to organization theory theorems. Therefore, I believe that with the help of some theoretical intervention we may well be able to apply (and develop) praxiology and metapraxiology to resolve some of the management-related sciences’ metatheoretical problems. One them is the structural chaos and ambiguity of basic terminology. I focus on: 1) the praxiological systemization of management theory, and 2) the application of the idea of praxiological efficaciousness to resolving the ambiguity problem in basic management theory terminology (on the example of the term effectiveness).
ii. spirituality and the human condition
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Eligiusz Dymowski St. Francis of Assisi as an Example of Humanistic Ecumenism
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Today’s world is one of quick civilization changes, influencing the development of human thought and the understanding of many basic values. Particularly the last decades have posed a concrete question about freedom and its limitations. The value of freedom is still today being reborn and restructured, once suspicious as a source of sin, now a challenge and a responsible task for the human. Similar questions have also arisen as to the ideas of human dignity and mutual respect, as inherent parts of the human condition.The contemporary world, despite being a new era in human history, does not, in fact, differ much from the Europe of the Middle Ages—divided and united by Christianity, paradoxical in that we strive to build solidarity and closeness and at the same time feel lost and helpless against the evil of the world. With that knowledge we may avoid unnecessary tragedies, learning from St. Francis times, where there was everything in that world—wars, fears, diseases on the one hand, asceticism and self-denial on the other—but no joy. A question may arise whether the voice of St. Francis would still be heard and listened to today. Whether his example would teach love, ecumenism and evangelical joy.The word «ecumenism» is and has been widely used, but often without any deeper reflection on its rich history and variety of meanings. Against the divisions and hatred of contemporary world, the idea of ecumenism increases its importance, becoming one of the main areas of Christian concern. Vatican II brought about a new era of ecumenical thinking, not only defining the theological basis for dialogue, but most importantly, showing its value and encouraging active participation of the faithful. Such participation requires, however, a man’s inner change–which cannot occur without appropriate formation and everyday practice of ecumenism. That presupposes respect for the other, pursuance of mutual trust, openness to widely understood cooperation and elimination of prejudice and fears. Such formation and change must encompass everyone without any difference, laymen and clergy, the faithful and the searching, so that the actions show true concern for the human as such. In that sense, ecumenism is an “inner conversion” (as says A. Skowronek), a new attitude towards the other—religion, human, culture.Against the above mentioned background, one can say that St. Francis exceeded whole centuries of ecumenical dialogue. However, to analyze his phenomenon, one must concentrate on the historical picture, leaving aside any strictly legendarymythological images.St. Francis’s popularity seems to be—almost irrationally—growing with the passage of time, despite not offering anything new or revealing. As a matter of fact, St. Francis reappears in all centuries, teaching the Christian message and teaching to love. His humanism is realized in kindness, solidarity, authentic respect and pure love of God and the human. The human is central in St. Francis’s thinking—great, beautiful and dramatic, full of dignity, and full of the conflict of his inborn goodness and threatening evil. The key to understanding him is only love, assuring freedom and spiritual richness. Yet St. Francis claims: Love is not loved. Re-reading the Gospel anew is a way to meet that Love, and oneself.The human always needed love. Love is inextricably connected with goodness and hence a positive relation towards the other. Those qualities, together with respect, acceptance and search for the truth, are also fundamental to ecumenism. Love appears to be the answer. St. Francis loved not only God, not only the human, but he loved and praised the beauty of all of God’s creation, his love being “the most literal realization of the message contained in the Gospel” (K. Starczewska). But as the first step to love and respect is for the human to respect his own dignity in himself. In that way, he shall also discovers his right to freedom and the truth about himself.The conclusion is the following: Undoubtedly, the character of St. Francis is a universal one. He spoke of his love of God—and human—in concrete deeds of love, never in abstract concepts. Tradition and legend have partly made St. Francis to a cheerful, carefree troubadour of love; however, he knew well the modern world, with its disagreements, hatred and half-truths. A simple tool in God’s hand, he made others overcome the prejudice in them and shake hands in reconciliation, practicing good deeds. Whether that still happens today, and the world adopts St. Francis’s humanistic attitude, depends also on us.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Maciej Magura Goralski The Ancient, Prebuddhist, Tibetan Bon Religion as a Form of Compassionate Spirituality in Tune With Nature
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The paper aims at presenting a very simplified outline of the Bono religious tradition of Tibet. Furthermore, the author argues that certain religious traditions are more “heaven-oriented” while others, more “earth-concerned”. This division is meant to show the importance of realizing the aim of any given philosophy or religious lore. It might be said that the present world crisis and human dilemma is caused mainly by misguided thinking and doing things in accordance with some dated or unrealistic dogma. The author does not try to promote “Eastern” philosophy as superior or put down “Western” philosophy as inferior. Rather one tries to present the situation and wait for what comes next naturally.
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Werner Krieglstein The Ancient, Prebuddhist, Tibetan Bon Religion as a Form of Compassionate Spirituality in Tune With Nature, a Comment
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9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Marian M. Czarniecki Mediotism and Mediots. A Contemporary Challenge
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The author first used the neologisms mediot and mediotism in a series of 1973 essays. Both anagrams of “media idiot”, they base on the Greek idiotes in its meaning of “non-specialist” or “ignorant” rather than mentally backward. The terms basically refer to recipients of printed, electronic and digital media-press readers, TV viewers, radio listeners and internauts. Mediots uncritically accept all the media say, will-lessly allowing them to mould their minds and souls like plasticine. As if hypnotized, they readily submit to every fashion, stereotype or snobbery the media propagate.Mediotism is a limitation and sign of contemporary humanity’s spiritual and intellectual weakness. At the same time, it constitutes an enormous challenge. Mediotism symptoms are easy to spot—they appear in all social classes and professions and on all education levels; its closest relatives are functional illiteracy and Erich Fromm’s “consumer idiot”.It is worth noting that mediotism and mediot have become commonly used terms in public (especially political) debate thanks to author’s two book publications and radio appearances.
iii. the warsaw uprising 1944—from nationality to universality
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1/2
Marian Marek Drozdowski The Truth Never Dies. The Jewish Population of the World in View of the Warsaw Uprising 1944
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For Polish Jews, Warsaw was an important center of social and cultural life. It was the biggest center of Jewish community and culture in Europe. It was also here that the greatest tragedy of this community took place, made still more dramatic by the transports of the Jews from various European and Polish cities. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising reminds us of the egoism of the societies of the Allied powers. Similarly the lonely fight of the heroes of the Warsaw ghetto reminds us of the lonely fight of the insurgents of Warsaw in 1944. Both uprisings involved the whole society. They differed only in the scale of military operations conducted and in their duration.Polish Jews, as well as the Jews from other countries, observed with deep interest the course of insurgent fights, in which a small number of Warsaw Jews saved from extermination and Jews from many European countries, liberated by the insurgents, took part. The feeling of community of fate of the Polish and Jewish nations was a phenomenon of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944; it was a harmony that was never achieved again. Jews, citizens of different countries and members of different organizations loudly demanded help for the heroic but forlorn insurgents.