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Essays in Honour of Professor Tadeusz Rachwał


Edited By Agnieszka Pantuchowicz and Slawomir Maslon

Affinities, a collection of essays dedicated to Professor Tadeusz Rachwał, a noted literary historian and cultural critic, pioneer of the present-day cultural studies in Poland, includes texts written by his friends, colleagues, and disciples. As it turns out, even though the topics discussed by the particular authors differ from each other, the volume has a definite focus: literature and culture from the early modern times to the present, approached in ways that combine attention to the textual detail with a broad perspective of social change and the ability to use the hermeneutics of suspicion to see through various received ideas and petrified ideologies. Scholars from Poland, the UK, and the USA have demonstrated that Professor Rachwał attracts minds that unite critical passion and inquisitiveness with expertise in many fields of research in today’s (post-)humanities.
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Many science fiction stories have one feature in common. The scientific developments and technologies they project have a sense of credibility about them, even when they appear far from plausible, or even possible. This sense is derived from the fact that the scientific ideas proposed, no matter how fanciful, remain at their heart more or less faithful to the logic systems that characterise the modern scientific method. The stories usually speculate about alternative scenarios regarding the application of this method, not about the method itself as a way to reason with exactitude about the world. Naturally, these speculations might later prove untenable for a variety of reasons, but the system of mathematically grounded principles does not as a rule suffer in terms of its theoretical validity. One plus one remains two. Indeed, demonstrating a grasp of scientific principles, practices, and philosophies is for some authors almost a required leitmotif in the genre.

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