2009 | 53 | 1-2 | 113-132
Article title

IN THE SITE OF A THEORY AND HISTORY OF CULTURE. A GLANCE ON LUDWIK FLECK'S THEORY OF THOUGHT STYLES (W strone teorii i historii kultury. Spojrzenie na teorie stylów myslowych Ludwika Flecka)

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Humanistic reflection on culture is very important in Polish science. It is one of the most interesting themes of Polish philosophy, represented by Stanislaw Brzozowski, Bronislaw Malinowski, Florian Znaniecki, Leszek Kolakowski, Zygmunt Bauman, Jerzy Kmita. One of the greatest, still unknown, is Ludwik Fleck, who was a medical doctor (outstanding mickrobiologist) and an author of a book Genesis and Development a Scientifict Fact published in 1935, where he discusses sociological perception of science. Fleck is becoming popular among Polish representatives of humanities, especially sociologists and philosophers. His theory and point of view on developing of knowledge, organizes the discussion between realism (philosophy of science) and anti-realism (non-classical sociology of knowledge, sociology of scientific knowledge, science and technology studies). Fleck's theory of 'thought collectives' and 'thought styles' is completely unknown to Polish ethnologists. In author's opinion, Fleck's theory should be treated as a theory of culture in the anthropological sense, which can be useful to describe how culture works. He underlines that Fleck's theory can be useful in studies on cultural change, theory of vision and common sense. From methodological point of view Fleck's theory is more interesting (more empirical) than Thomas Kuhn's, and is putting culture closer to the development of science. In author's opinion Fleck's theory is a mature theory of non-classical sociology of knowledge. However, it appeared almost forty years before this sociological project. Even today Fleck's words are still worth mentioning. We can easily find ideas of H. Putnam, W. V. O. Quine, S. Fish in Fleck's papers. In author's opinion Fleck is a philosopher who is crossing the borders of anthropology, sociology of knowledge and onthological thesis of an American pragmatism. The author considers Fleck's theory to be an useful instrument which helps us to understand society. In his opinion, this theory should be widely discussed and used as a tool in Polish ethnology.
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  • Michał Rydlewski, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika w Toruniu, Instytut Filozofii, ul. Fosa Staromiejska 1a , 87-100 Torun, Poland
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