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Barbara Skarga in Memoriam

Series:

Magdalena Sroda and Jacek Migasinski

This volume is dedicated to Barbara Skarga – her works, profile and biography. It is a unique character in the Polish intellectual life, but also virtually unknown abroad, except a meager milieu of her readership in France. Dubbed «the first Lady of Polish Philosophy» for a good reason, she contributed not only to shape of Polish Philosophy but to the style of public debate, too. The problem areas initiating her philosophy stemmed from the group of scholars called «the Warsaw school of history of Ideas» with its flagship names such as Leszek Kołakowski, Brinisław Baczko or Andrzej Walicki. On the other hand, her output originates from the extraordinary and dramatic events of her life. The philosophical output of Barbara Skarga is thus a proof of continuity and longevity of an important tradition of the 20 th century Polish Philosophy.

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IV. Towards Metaphysics

Extract

The “I” Identity. Eidos So, I am supposed to talk about selfness, look for its sense and conditions for existing. The problem of how to ask about it surfaces right away; how to inquire into selfness and avoid descending onto the anthropological plane—the field so broad and diversi- fied in contents and methods that its idea “loses all precision,” as Heidegger put it.1 For Heidegger, following here in the footsteps of Kant, anthropological research is no basis for the perception of truth about the human being; at the very best, it offers in- sight into man’s natural, social and cultural existence. Anthropology is based on a number of empirical observations, but no essence had ever been drawn from empiri- cism. The opposite is true: the definition of the essence elucidates empirical data and gives guidance to investigation. Let us, therefore, turn straight to the problem at is- sue—to selfness, and the analysis of related problems. I shall begin with a discussion of eidos, which is supposed to determine selfness, although we are taught by the his- tory of philosophy that the quest for eidos has always involved theoretical difficulties and has produced no unambiguous conclusions. I shall limit myself to several propositions which seem most telling to me: purely ontological, onto-phenomenological and onto-ethical. I find the first one with Heideg- ger, as in his analytics of the entity he undertook this sort of quest. I shall only review several questions leading to the problem of interest here, and...

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