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Towards Scientific Metaphysics, Volume 1

In the Circle of the Scientific Metaphysics of Zygmunt Zawirski. Development and Comments on Zawirski’s Concepts and their Philosophical Context


Krzysztof Śleziński

The book presents results from research conducted by Zygmunt Zawirski on the theory of knowledge, quantum mechanics, logic, ontology and metaphysics.

The works undertaken in the field of logic, methodology and philosophy of science, and in particular the philosophy of nature and natural science testify to a solid preparation for the fundamental task of developing contemporary scientific philosophy. The emerging mathematical natural science did not have those possibilities which emerged in the 20th Century and which Zygmunt Zawirski (1882-1948) used. In the development of scientific metaphysics, he took into account both the achievements of modern logic, mathematics and physics. Zawirski builds scientific metaphysics by referring to empiricism, broadly understood experience. Modern metaphysics should meet high standards of precision and uniqueness, which is why Zawirski attempts to apply the axiomatic method to both the analysis of the theory of physics and the scientific metaphysics.

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Part One: The philosophy of Zygmunt Zawirski


1 Philosophy of natural science and the philosophy of nature

Zawirski was interested in the development of natural sciences and modern mathematics. While trying to answer the questions stated and/or the philosophical matters discussed at that time, he has left many original works in some ways connected to one of these theories. In his numerous works, Zawirski presented new philosophical implications derived from these theories.

1.1 Axiomatization of deductive theories

The axiomatization of deductive theory is the last stage of its development27. The axiomatic method does not increase the content of theory. For deductive reasoning, it is completely out-of-question whether what you deduce from is something obvious or not. Whether or not a given assertion is an axiom is determined by whether it can be proved by other existing axioms. Deductive reasoning based on principles which often obviously contradict one another may turn out to be an extremely important scientific achievement, as evidenced by the existence of non-Euclidean geometries28. It is also ←33 | 34→not unusual that science often deviates from the ordinary meaning of colloquial speech, creating its own language and its own symbolism.29 According to Zawirski, some extreme formalizations of deductive theories may lead to absurdity, when it is demanded not only to forget what the individual symbols mean and remember only about the rules of the existing counting procedures, but also when it is declared that the symbols we operate have no meaning. In such situations, we have to...

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