Florian Znaniecki’s Culturalism
7 Action as a Dynamic System of Experiences and Values / 107
For the Intellectual Authority of Florian Znaniecki Without undertaking the risky endeavor of confronting Znaniecki’s conception with the hermeneutical approach, I would nevertheless like to refer to Hans Georg Gadamer’s position on authority in science. Gadamer recognizes its necessity and at the same time a need for constant reﬂection on authority ( Bronk 1982: 290). The reference to Gadamer’s idea here is not accidental, since the historical point of view and a relativist approach to scientiﬁc systems was common to both thinkers. Gadamer, like Edmund Husserl, Alfred Schütz or Max Weber is an example of authority within a particular scholarly tradition, and even their critics do not question their outstanding role. Referring to Gadamer’s position I would like to make the motive for the discus- sion presented here quite clear: to show that Znaniecki should belong to the leading authorities in the ﬁeld of cultural sciences. His work cannot be portrayed as simply another case of unnoticed discovery in the history of science, another Ludwik Fleck from the East ( Merton 1982; Fleck 1986). Znaniecki is not yet another ‘unrecognized forerunner’ ( Ha∏as 1983), a thinker parallel to ‘great’ authorities, formulating his ideas not distinctively enough, and building conceptions that are not weighty enough. On the contrary. According to Znaniecki, knowledge is neither a matter of speculation nor does it consist in technical manipulation, but it is a creative act. His system should be presented as creative since he fully deserves to be called the ‘discoverer of truth’, not...
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