Empiricism and Ethics in Edward Abramowski’s Experimental Metaphysics

Anna Dziedzic

In his lectures of 1917, entitled Experimental Metaphysics, Edward Abramowski proposed several metaphysical theses, which, unlike the racionalistic metaphysic criticised by Kant, were to be based on experience and not speculation. Abramowski sought the empirical base of a new metaphysics in subscionscious states of mind, which were inaccesible for subjective description and could be investigated experimentally in a laboratory, according to the paradigm of a physiological psychology. A theoretical base of these laboratory researches was provided by Abramowski’s own concept of subconsciousness, explicated in his book Sources of Subconsciousness and Its Manifestations (1914). According to Abramowski’s methodological declarations, his methaphysics should be classifi ed as inductive metaphysics. However, Abramowski’s ontological theses – on the psychical nature of substances, on plurality of substances and on fi nite nature of God – contrary to author’s announcements were not supported by his experimental material. As a matter of fact, Abramowski mostly relied on mistical experiences and ordinary, common experience. Besides, an analysis of Abramowski’s lectures shows that his metaphysical speculations diff ered from criticised theses of racionalistic methaphysics not in empirical base, but in several assumptions, accepted in his previous years of intelectual activity: in epistemological assumptions, ethical values and social ideals, which promoted a system of „cooperative republic”.


Keywords: Abramowski · metaphysics · ethics · experience · subconsciousness · substance · pluralism

Anna Dziedzic – PhD in philosophy, author of Philosophical Anthropology of Edward Abramowski (Wrocław 2010) and scientific editor of Abramowski’s Writings on Philosophy and Psychology (Warsaw 2016), works at the Department of the History of Polish Philosophy of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Warsaw.   »  

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