Letter from Władysław Tatarkiewicz written 01.05.1936


Warsaw, 1/5/1936

    n             Dear Most Honourable Colleague,

           First of all, please forgive me for replying to your letter of 7 April only now, but I was travelling abroad, and it was only upon returning home yesterday after four weeks that I found this letter. I travelled to Brussels, where I’d been invited for lectures, but along the way I stopped in Berlin and went on to Paris in order to read a little in the libraries, because – as you, my dear sir, know as well as I do – there are few books at home, and even less time to read them.
n             The volume of the Studia Philosophica publication looks exceptionally impressive, and I sincerely congratulate you on it. The first issue of [Philosophical] Review has already appeared, but in the second we’ll give information about the publication. I also think it’ll be possible to offer a critical report on it, even though generally Review doesn’t discuss periodicals; here, however, we’re dealing with such an exceptional periodical in our relations.
n             I also cordially thank you for the offer for me to take part in the second volume of Studies [Studia Philosophica]. At the moment, I don’t fancy expanding ‘Skupienia i marzenia’ [Focus and dreams]; however, I have a paper on ethics, ‘on the comparison of goods’, in the works. In principle, I promised it to Kraus in German for a commemorative book celebrating the centenary of Brentano, but I’ll see: perhaps I’ll manage to carve out two separate dissertations from what I’ve got. I see too much current work in front of me to delude myself and the Editorial Board that I’ll finish before my holidays. However, I believe that following – and thanks to – the holidays, I’ll be ready.
n             Thank you very much as well for informing me of your position regarding the congress that is supposed to take place in Cracow. Of course, I’m impressed by neither the programme nor the dictatorial actions of the Committee. Personally, I have nothing to do with this: the only matter I was asked about, as a member of the committee of Polish philosophical congresses, was the date of this year’s congress, but my opinion differed from the one that prevailed. The sudden consideration given to logistics in Cracow, which heretofore was almost completely devoid of it, is a surprise for me. I haven’t submitted a report, nor am I going to. As to whether I’m going to take part in the congress, I don’t know yet.
n             Your sad remarks on the state of the history of philosophy in Poland are all too accurate. I feel myself at fault, although only partially. In today’s Polish philosophical circles, there is no historical atmosphere. If I lecture on ethics, all of the students want to have papers only on ethics; if on aesthetics, then only on aesthetics; it’s difficult to persuade them to work on history. The fact is that even such one-hundred-per-cent historians as Fr Michalski or Żółtowski created no school. However, I managed to raise Kieszkowski, and another historian is ‘in the works’. Unfortunately, I don’t believe in any organisation created ad hoc. I’d like to talk about this at greater length with you when I see you; perhaps together we’ll think of something.
n             I don’t want to finish this letter, though, without having thanked you for the very interesting ‘Formy poznawania dzieła literackiego’ [Forms of cognition of the literary work] and without having congratulated you on your critique of neopositivism in Marchołt, which I deem excellent. It’d be good to see you and talk about all of this.

n             A cordial handshake
n                 n                 n                 n                 n                 n             Wtatarkiewicz