The Plurality of Realities. Collected Essay
s contains four texts by Leon Chwistek, which deal with his original philosophical conception called “the theory of plurality of realities". This collection is essential not only for understanding the fully-fledged version of Chwistek’s conception, but also for surveying its development over a span of five years (1916–1921). Reading these essays in chronological order allows us to notice all stages of its development, beginning with its first sketches, drawn in the book Meaning and Reality, where only two realities are considered, and finishing with Chwistek’s most famous essay, The Plurality of Realities
, where he discusses four different realities: the reality of things, the reality of physics, the reality of impressions, and the reality of imaginations.
The collection is preceded by two introductory essays (written by Karol Chrobak). The first presents Leon Chwistek against the background of the intellectual, cultural, and political life of the interwar period in Poland. The second focuses on Chwistek’s conception of the plurality of realities, and gives a critical account of its most widespread interpretations. Leon Chwistek
(1884–1944) – one of the most emblematic personalities of the interwar period in Poland. His versatile interests were manifested in as varied disciplines as philosophy, mathematics, logics, art and literature. To philosophy he contributed with the theory of plurality of realities, and to art with two original artistic trends: zonism
. Born in Zakopane, he spent most of his life in Krakow, where he was well known as an avant-gardist intellectual and member of the artistic group called the “Formists.” In the 1930s he moved to Lvov, where he was appointed to the chair of philosophy at the University of Jan Kazimierz (his main competitor for this position was Alfred Tarski). After the outbreak of the World War II, he remained in Soviet-occupied Lvov, and in 1941 – after the German invasion of the Soviet Union – he fled first to Georgia and then to Moscow, where he participated in the formation of the Union of Polish Patriots.
Karol Chrobak – Assistant Professor at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences SGGW (Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Philosophy). His main field of interest is Polish and German contemporary philosophy. His PhD thesis was about Leon Chwistek’s critical rationalism (Niejedna rzeczywistość. Racjonalizm krytyczny Leona Chwistka, published in Polish in 2004) and his Habilitation thesis treated Helmuth Plessner’s philosophical anthropology (Między naturą a kulturą. Filozofia życia Helmutha Plessnera, published in Polish in 2014). Based on his Plessner’s studies he is working now on two research projects: the hermeneutics of nature and the philosophical analysis of violence.