• Dermot Griffin
    I have been reading a lot lately about the Lublin School which rose in Poland at the Catholic University of Lublin in the 40’s and 50’s. It’s inception was to combat the budding Marxist dogmas enforced by the state; sometimes the term Lublin Thomism is used to describe it. Western scholars erroneously dubbed this “Phenomenological Thomism” when it is really much more complicated than just a bridging between concepts from phenomenology and Thomistic thought. I argue that it is very unique. The main two representatives that I am reading are Mieczysław Krapiec and Karol Wojtyła (better known as John Paul II). Both have extensive influences. They are of course indebted to phenomenologists like Edmund Husserl and Roman Ingarden as well as St. Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, St. Augustine, and St. Boethius but existentialists such as Soren Kierkegaard and Nikolai Berdyaev also made a huge impact in their work. Posted is an article (a tad lengthy but I will post another later if the discussion takes off) that serves as pretty good introduction to the Lublin School/Lublin Thomism:


    Their main goal seems to be an attempt to reclaim personhood or individuality in a society that was denying such ideas. I highly recommend Krapiec and Wojtyła to anyone as they attempt to formulate a clear cut objective definition of what a person is in contrast to what the state was forcing on the populace at the time; Catholic University of America recently made an English translation of Wojtyła’s magnum opus Person and Act last year and Krapiec’s book I-Man: An Outline of Philosophical Anthropology is very insightful (but very pricey). Wojtyła’s book Considerations on the Essence of Man is also interesting. I’d love to get peoples opinions on if this school of thought has any relevancy in contemporary times and if it does what in particular.
  • T Clark

    This is a very good post. Informative and interesting. I remember watching as Poland broke free from the USSR and communism in the 1980s, but I know nothing of the details of post war Polish history.

    I wish I had something more substantive to offer than that.
  • 180 Proof
    Are you familiar with the ethical personalism of Max Scheler? His thought greatly influenced Fr. Wojtyła's early writings.
  • Dermot Griffin

    Of course (forgot to mention him). Scheler played a huge influence on Wojtyła and Krapiec’s personalism. it really is a shame that people don’t value the school of thought more. I’ve never been an analytical philosophy type but that’s what gets taught on most college campuses.

    It seems that Eastern European philosophy tends to be the most hard to understand in the western world. Many Western academics are so concerned with taking up a positivist view of the world that it seems to become focused on what we can prove is true by a testable method. Eastern European philosophers are more concerned with the act of being (actus essendi) and I would argue that the “classical” philosophers of antiquity were concerned with this as well.
  • Dermot Griffin
    For those interested, here is a link to a pdf of Wojtyła’s Considerations on the Essence of Man in both Polish and English:

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