Wincenty Lutoslawski - his life and work
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Wincenty Lutoslawski was born in Warsaw in1863. After university studies in chemistry he moved on to study history and philology and obtained a master's degree in philosophy. Lutoslawski spent the next ten years studying Plato's logic (The Origin and Growth of Plato's Logic with an Account of Plato's Style and of the Chronology of his Writings, London 1897). In the years 1899-1900 he lectured at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow then at universities in Lausanne and in Geneva .After few years travelling around the USA and Europe he was offered, in 1919, the Chair of Philosophy at the Stefan Batory University in Wilno (Vilnius).He died in Cracow in 1954. His bibliography covers a total of 820 items, out of which ninety six appeared as selfstanding publications; he published in Polish, German, English, French, Spanish, Italian and Russian (he also knew Grek and Latin).Three areas of Lutoslawski's research are discussed: Plato, Polish romanticists, and his own philosophical system. He is best known for discoveries on the chronology of Plato's works, but his main concern was the study of evolution of Plato's thought. Lutoslawski discovered that after Plato had created idealism, he went beyond it and moved towards spiritualism. Lutoslawski's attachment to Polish romanticists stemmed from his conviction of their unique worth and importance and he became an impassioned promoter of Polish culture abroad. Lutoslawski considered himself more of a philosopher rather than just as a historian of philosophy. Initially he reduced all forms of 'Weltanschauung' to only two: 'The individualist says 'I do most really exist, and besides me other beings like myself'. The universalist answers: 'Only the whole does really exist, and I am but a manifestion of being' '. As time went by, he distinguished four such forms: materialism, idealism, pantheism and monadology, otherwise referred to as individualism, spiritualism or eleutherism.
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