Jan Karol Kochanowski’s Theory of Nation

Grażyna Szumera

The present article discusses thetory of nation as founded by J.K. Kochanowski. In Polish philosophy his views have virtually become forgotten. Yet, his thinking seems to have much in common with the foundations of psychologism and sociologism, although it is the former which appears closer to his own views. In his philosophical oeMvre we can find threads inspired by his reflection on a crowd. AH historical facts he interprets as strongly connected with the psyche of nations. Kochanowski was interested in psychic differences that varied from nation to nation. He posited that a nation, likewise a man, is determined by the psyche, which is an illustration of this nation's or man's most fundamental features. Studying history of a nation demonstrates, according to Kochanowski, that despite many similarities, there appear many significant differences in psychic predispositions that lead to a creation of separate national characters. Peoples' psyche is unchangeable and it is the source of the given groups' deeds and their psychic type. In his characteristics of a nation Kochanowski drew from romantic tradition. The philosopher joined in the stream of thought on the differences and similarities between Poles and other nations, exisitng in the period between the wars, which stressed such Polish characteristics as: individualism, love for freedom, tolerance. This line of thinking also underlined the unchangeability of a national character.

Keywords: Kochanowski · nacionalism · psychologism

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