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Tadeusz Kotarbiński
""Tadeusz Kotarbiński.jpg
Born 31 March 1886
"Warsaw, "Congress Poland, "Russian Empire
Died 3 October 1981 (aged 95)
"Warsaw, "People's Republic of Poland
Nationality "Polish
Alma mater "Jagiellonian University
"Lvov University (PhD)
Era "20th century philosophy
Region "Western philosophy
"School "Lwów–Warsaw school of logic
Institutions "Warsaw University
Notable ideas
"Reism, "logology[1]

Tadeusz Kotarbiński (Polish: "['kotarbiński]; 31 March 1886 – 3 October 1981), was a "Polish "philosopher, "logician and "ethicist.

A pupil of "Kazimierz Twardowski, he was one of the most representative figures of the "Lwów–Warsaw School, and a member of the "Polish Academy of Learning (PAU) as well as the "Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). He developed philosophical theory called "reism ("Polish: reizm) and an "ethical system called independent ethics. Kotarbiński also contributed significantly to the development of "praxeology.

Henryk Greniewski and Kazimierz Pasenkiewicz have been doctoral students of Kotarbiński.



Tadeusz Kotarbiński was born on 31 March 1886 in "Warsaw, then "Congress Poland, "Russian Empire, into an artist's family. His father, Miłosz Kotarbiński, was a painter and a composer; his mother, Ewa de domo Koskowska, a pianist. His uncles were - Józef Kotarbiński, an important figure in Polish theater circles and Wilhelm Kotarbiński - a talented painter. Expelled from secondary school in 1905 for participating in a strike, Kotarbiński managed to graduate two years later. He studied first as an unenrolled student at "Jagiellonian University in "Kraków, attending mostly lectures on mathematics and physics; then architecture in "Lvov and "Darmstadt, to finally settle for studies in philosophy and "classical philology at the "Lvov University. His professors were some of the most esteemed philosophers, logicians and mathematicians of his time: "Kazimierz Twardowski, Jan Łukasiewicz, Władysław Witwicki and "philologist Stanisław Witkowski. He received his PhD degree with the thesis "Utilitarianism in the ethics of Mill and Spencer" in 1912.

After graduation he first worked as a secondary school "classical languages teacher at the Rey Gymnasium in "Warsaw. In 1918 Kotarbiński started lecturing career in philosophy at the "Warsaw University. In years 1929/1930 he held the position of "Dean of "Humanities Faculty.



"Reism is a pansomatism (from "Greek:πᾶν meaning "all" and σῶμα - "body") "ontology as well as semantic theory developed by Kotarbiński and most extensively exposed in his major work: Elements of the Theory of Knowledge, Formal Logic and Methodology of the Sciences, first published in 1929. Kotarbiński was the creator of the term "reism - a word derived from the "Latin "res" meaning "thing".

Ontological reism[edit]

Kotarbiński's ontological reism approach assumes that the only things that exist, and thus the only "ontological category to be used, are individual, concrete objects (or bodies) in opposition to doctrines allowing for the existence of such categories as universals, states of affairs, properties, relations, sets, classes, mental constructs etc.

Semantic reism[edit]

In its sematic formulation Kotarbiński postulated that meaningful sentences have to contain so-called genuine names (referring to concrete objects) as opposed to abstract objects' names or non-genuine names (onomatoids). He also distinguished "onomatoids from empty names, which he considered to be reistic. Sentences with onomatoids only were in his view meaningless, whereas those with empty names meaningful.

Reism has been anticipated by philosophers preceding Kotarbiński ("Leibnitz, "Brentano and his pupils and earlier "nominalists and "materialists), but it was Kotarbiński who developed it to the complete, systematic exposition and gave it its name.

In 1958 in "Philosophical Studies" n4 (7) Kotarbiński published Developmental Stages of Concretism, an essay in which he discussed the construction and evolution of his theory starting from the early concretism or "nominalism, passing through seven stages of re-elaboration and finally culminating in pansomatism. Kotarbiński used terms: "reism, pansomatism and concretism as equivalents to some extent throughout his works.


Kotarbiński was the most prominent representative and promoter of "praxeology in Poland. Three years after publishing his major work on the subject: A Treatise on Good Work he persuaded "Polish Academy of Sciences to establish a special unit called Workshop for Generic Work Organizational Issues (Pracownia Ogólnych Problemów Organizacji Pracy) later expanded into Department of Praxeology. Since 1962 it issued a periodical, called at first Praxeological Papers (Materiały Prakseologiczne), and then simply Praxeology (Prakseologia).


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Elena Aronova, Simone Turchetti (eds.), Science Studies during the Cold War and Beyond: Paradigms Defected, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, p. 149: "some of [naukoznawstwo's] contributors ("Kazimierz Twardowski, "Maria Ossowska, "Stanisław Ossowski, Tadeusz Kotarbiński, "Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz, "Florian Znaniecki, "Ludwik Fleck, Stefan Amsterdamski (pl)) have gained international recognition."

External links[edit]

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