2007 | 6 | 3-4(18) | 135-154
Article title

On Consolation that Leszek Kolakowski's 'Metaphysical Horror' offers

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The point of departure of 'horror metaphysicus' is, according to Leszek Kolakowski, a conscious feeling of change, passing, contingency and fragility of the world and the human existence that puts everything in the face of Nothingness. Philosophy of skepticism was a first somehow structured, sophisticated and relatively reassuring expression of this helplessness but it did not cancel out the horror. The obvious human drive to overcome 'horror metaphysicus' has led to the idea of the Absolute as a constant, primordial, uniform measure for all notions important to human beings, such as existence, truth and good. The idea of the Absolute presents itself in two forms: as God and as 'cogito'. Their analysis in Kolakowski's book demonstrated numerous dangers that metaphysical horror will appear once again. The final rescue is 'rewriting' the problem of the 'Self' to social-historical community, and the proper way to understand this community, the way that is at the same time structuring and open, is hermeneutics. The analysis of L. Kolakowski's book leads the author to the conclusion that its title is contradictory with its contents. The subject matter of the book is not horror itself but a flight from horror. It is not about looking 'in the eyes' of the metaphysical fear but about giving and classifying different prescriptions against 'horror metaphysicus'. It is thus a consolatory book. At the same time, to overcome the consolatory scheme - which is what the author proposes in the paper - is to consider the question: Are there good reasons to praise the mortality of the human being, her reference to Nothingness, her positive affirmation of the horror that awaits her?
  • J. Dobieszewski,
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