An Early Reception of the Scottish Enlightenment In Poland

Stefan Zabieglik

The philosophy of Scottish Enlightenment became popular in Poland at the turn of 18th and 19th centuries due to its conciliatory nature characteristic for the mentality of our philosophers of that epoch. Th e central for that philosophy category of common sense was not identical with the French bon sens opposed both to fi deism of theologians and to metaphysical subtleties of the 17th century philosophical systems. In the period of breakthrough between the Polish Enlightenment and Romanticism the category of common sense, popular sense based upon common experience and intuition acquired an unusual popularity, since it reconciled two intellectual formations – the disappearing one and the succeeding one.

The initiators in spreading Scottish philosophy in Poland were the brothers Czartoryski (especially Adam Jerzy, the son of Adam Kazimierz) and the following, associated with them thinkers: Karol Sienkiewicz who propagated pre-romantic Ossianism; Krystyn Lach-Szyrma who propagated the ideas of D. Stewart; Michał Wiszniewski, who was a pupil of Th. Reid, this one considered to be a founder of the Scottish school of common sense philosophy; Jan Śniadecki, who declaring himself for the “Scottish School” criticized both Kant and the French materialists.

Keywords: Scottish Enlightenment · Czartoryski · Śniadecki · common sense

Stefan Zabieglik — professor of philosophy, for most of the time of his academic career held position at the Chair of Philosophy at the University of Technology in Gdansk. Prominent specialist in philosophy, history and culture of Scotland. Among his publications are: False Mirror of Philosophy Or the History of the Common Sense Concept (1987), History of Scotland (2000), History of Philosophy Against the Background of European Civilization (till the end of XVIII century) (2003), Adam Smith (2003), Lexicon of Scotland – History, Politics, Science, Culture (2008). Passed away on 4th of May 2010.   »  

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