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Witkacy. Logos and the Elements

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Edited By Teresa Pękala

This book focuses on Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, philosopher and controversial artist. It expresses the opinions of philosophers, museologists and artists, for whom Stanisław Ignacy Witkacy’s 130th birthday anniversary became an opportunity to view his works from the perspective of postmodernity. The authors concentrate on Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz as eminent and prophetic philosopher concerned about Western culture with its waning metaphysical feelings, master of gesture and poses, anticipating the postmodern theatricalization of life.

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Goodbye to Witkacy? Remarks on the Relevance of S. I. Witkiewicz’s Metaphysical and Esthetic Views (Cezary Mordka)

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Cezary Mordka

Goodbye to Witkacy? Remarks on the Relevance of S. I. Witkiewicz’s Metaphysical and Esthetic Views

Technological solutions become outdated very quickly, scientific theories – more slowly, while the achievements in the broadly-understood area of art, literature, and philosophy, tend to become outdated the slowest. Reading Aristotle or looking at the Quattrocento paintings can be fascinating today although sedan chairs and horse-drawn carriages are no longer in use. Can the intellectual carriers and their contents that Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz used lead us somewhere today or is their place in the columbarium of the history of ideas?

Witkacy was creatively active at the time of great hopes for the settlement of all theoretical and practical problems. Philosophers (phenomenologists, post-Kantians, Bergson, sense data theorists or Marxists) sought both the epistemological and ontological and social “absolutes”. They wanted to discover the inviolable and absolutely indisputable foundation of cognition, defeat skepticism and relativism, as well as save the humanity through science or by staging a proletarian revolution. That was the Zeitgeist of Witkacy’s time, the spirit almost entirely different from that of today. Philosophy as an attempt to discover the ultimate is not very highly rated these days. Nor is theology or science even after Kuhn, Hanson and Feyerabend. The spirit of our time, or a better volatile sprite because of rapid changes and the constant rise of new, immediately dying“-isms”, will be modernism. Within it we (scholars, theorists or consumers of ideas...

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