Barbara Skarga: selected writings I. Positivism and its problems
Warsaw Positivism There are two phases in Polish Positivism. The first is the Warsaw variety of the Sturm und Drang sort of ideological expansion with its flagship papers being Przegl d Tygo- dniowy and Niwa. It lasted for only a short time—until 1876. The first “young press” debates with the “old press” date back to 1869. The second phase—more critical and philosophical—can be called, in opposition to the former, one of “reflection.” The qu- ality of the philosophical work grew remarkably, the specialist literature appeared. The number of people working in the field of philosophy was increasing. Those people tended to look down on the publicist work of the previous decade. “The days of he- avenly innocence were gone for philosophy, days when whoever proclaimed themse- lves to be a person of common sense ventured into the jungle. Today, it is a specialist field which demands some minimum of specialist knowledge of its pursuers.”1 This pointed opinion forms the basis for the description of Positivism at its first stage of development. It was a philosophizing politics with ideological objectives ra- ther than a philosophy. “Young” Positivists set out to reconstruct social consciousness and felt themselves to be reformers rather than theorists. Their campaign, broad in scope and remarkably successful, was all the more valuable that in itself it was far from an attempt at imposing any single doctrine. Its objective was to free minds from superstition and doctrinal narrow-mindedness. The fight was against restricting criti- cism...
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