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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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“I am my body in the first place…” S.I. Witkiewicz’s Philosophy of the Body and Touch (Maciej Dombrowski)

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Maciej Dombrowski

“I am my body in the first place…” – Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz’s Philosophy of the Body and Touch

The paper is an attempt to reconstruct and interpret the themes of what can be called phenomenology or metaphysics of corporeality developed by Witkacy in the later 1930s. This is one of the less known themes in his philosophy, which is still usually associated with catastrophism or esthetic conceptions; it appears particularly interesting as compared with the present-day interest in corporeality and touch, especially in the context of studies on cognition within such currents as embodied, situated, distributed, or enactive cognition (Carruthers 2008, Ratcliffe 2008, Fulkerson 2011, 2014, De Vignemont 2014).

The history of philosophical considerations on the body is almost as long as history of philosophy; if, however, we were to indicate a philosopher who was the earliest to propose the views close to those advanced by Witkacy, it would, without doubt, be Maine de Biran – the French classic of such considerations1. He is recognized as the founder of modern philosophy of the body because he was the first to describe at length that which he called “the subjectivity” of the body, as pointed out by the commentator of his ideas “[…] experience shows us that the self or subject is the body […] the body as a lived body, a cognitive corporeality […]” (Sinclair, 2011; 187). Witkacy’s and Maine de Biran’s ways of thinking about the body seem very close, the analyses...

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