Letter to Kazimierz Twardowski written 04.11.1923

Toruń, 4/11/1923



            Most Honourable Professor!

            Most cordial thanks for your letter of 29/10 of this year. I was very pleased with it, as I was indeed a bit anxious about the fate of my dissertation. In fact, this anxiety derived from a certain misunderstanding: since, according to your wishes, I was supposed to deliver the summary of my dissertation at the beginning of October, I understood your wish to mean that at the beginning of October you intended to submit the matter of printing the dissertation at the meeting of the Acad. Soc., and that, therefore, the question of whether the dissertation could or should be printed would have been decided already. Thus I assumed that I’d receive a few words from you on this subject somewhere around the end of September. Hence my anxiety. I’m very grateful to you for taking my work so seriously and devoting so much time and effort to it. And I’m exceedingly glad that I’ve managed to interest you in the content of my arguments. I hope you’ll like the remaining parts of my dissertation.

            Incidentally, I don’t care for the term decisive judgment[O1] . That never seemed appropriate to me, since, after all, every judgment is ‘decisive’. However, I couldn’t come up with a term that suited me better. Perhaps it would have been better to replace it with the expression clarifying or elucidating, since such a judgment clarifies or elucidates a certain idea.

            In light of the favourable news that I read in your letter, I’m starting to think about how to design the programme of the entire campaign. Although you’ve yet to render your final decision, I’m beginning to hope that everything will work out well. I’d like to arrange everything so that during the summer holidays I can move to Lviv. Somewhere around Easter, it’d be necessary to arrange a colloquium. The only thing I don’t know is whether it would be possible to finish printing my paper by then. I’d like this because, in order to prepare for the colloquium at that time, I’d have to take a few weeks’ leave. At the end of the school year (e.g. in May) the Board won’t give me leave on account of the matura.[O2]  If, on the other hand, I were [O3] to take a leave so that the Easter holidays would follow, I suppose that the Board would agree, and, in conjunction with the Easter holidays, I’d have more time.

            Moreover, I’d like to talk to you about topics for the habilitation lecture, so that I’d be able to prepare them in outline ahead of time. At present I’d suggest the following topics:

            1) On the position of the theory of cognition among philosophical sciences (this matter was recently raised by Znamierowski[O4]  ‒ so I could proceed in part polemically);

            2) The issue of the identity of an object in Hume (with critical illumination);

            3) Criticism of the position of Herbertz[O5]  on the issue of truth (possibly! ‒ based on his Prolegomena zu einer neorealistischen Logik [Prolegomena to a neorealistic logic]). –

            I’m sending the abstract (or summary) of the dissertation on essential questions along with this letter. I don’t know if it’s too long, but in this way I’ve unloaded many matters that were weighing on me.

            I’m very glad that my diploma’s been found. I’d be in real trouble regarding what to do if it’d been lost at the Ministry. Because I don’t trust the Polish post, and, on the other hand, because my diploma will be (potentially) needed to apply for habilitation, I ask you to graciously keep it for the time being. Besides, during the Christmas holidays I may manage to come to Lviv for a few days; in that case, if it isn’t needed in the meantime, I’ll take it with me.

            My father is undoubtedly better – comparing his condition now with what it was at its worst (15–20 September), when we were losing hope that he could be saved. However, the disease can’t be considered as having run its course, since there’s still inflammation in the right lung. It’s a comfort that there’s no fever and that his strength is evidently returning. Recovery would be faster if not for the time of year and the unsuitable lowland climate. Unfortunately, at least at the moment, transporting him to the mountains is out of the question.

            My father would like to thank you for your regards and good wishes and asks you to accept expressions of his true esteem. I apologise for not sending the summary until now; however, given my father’s illness and the problems connected with it, I found it difficult to write it earlier, especially since I stopped smoking a few weeks ago, which makes it difficult for me to work at the moment.

            I enclose expressions of profound esteem and fervently thank you for your cordial interest in my troubles

                                                                                                               Roman Ingarden



[O1]Można tłumaczyć na 100 sposobów, nie wiem co jest najlepszy
[O2]Należy podać notatek
[O3]oryg. Gdyby, chyba powinna być Gdybym
[O4]Czesław Znamierowski (1888‒1967)
[O5] Richard Herbertz (1878‒1959)