Letter to Kazimierz Twardowski written 07.01.1925

Toruń, 7/1/1925



            Most Honourable Professor!

            During the Christmas holidays I was in Warsaw for a few days and, inter alia, visited the Ministry of Religious Denominations and Public Education in regard to in various matters. I learned there that my habilitation papers had not yet arrived. To the extent I understood Mr Zieleńczyk[O1] , with whom I spoke about this, it is possible to attach a copy of the summary (and not necessarily the relevant issue of Report) to the act. Since, for various reasons that I’ll elucidate in just a moment, it is very important to me that the matter of my habilitation should be definitively settled, whereas on the other hand I’ve already declared my readiness to cover the costs of printing my dissertation and offprints, I’m taking the liberty of turning to you with a polite inquiry as to whether you’d graciously ask the Scientific Society for permission to print the offprints first and give me a certain number of them (I’d like to have 30, as I have very few copies of the dissertation, which I have to reserve for Germans who understand no Polish and thus will get nothing out of the summary). For my part, I’m ready to immediately send the sum needed for the offprints, just as soon as I learn how much is required.

            The reasons I’d like the matter of my habilitation to be settled definitively are primarily as follows: because this year (i.e. in the autumn) I was tardy concerning the matter of obtaining funds for a trip abroad to complete my studies ‒ thus I’d definitely like to go in the autumn of 1925. I was at the Department of Science regarding this purpose and talked with Mr Dzik[O2] . I learned that it would be possible to obtain certain funds for the trip if the Lviv university were to support my request, which should be presented by the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy as soon as possible. Well, that’d be an important thing – and I have the impression that it would also indispensable for me to be able to rely in the application on the fact that I’m a docent, and that for this purpose, to make my lectures better, I would like to complete my studies, after many years wasted in middle school. Until the matter is definitely settled, I can’t rely on the fact of my docenture. This is one reason it’s important to me to settle the matter of my habilitation. With it is associated another. The money that might be obtained at the Ministry for use during the trip will be extremely modest. To be able to cover all expenses, it’s necessary to have certain funds of one’s own. To obtain these funds, I see no other way than do some kind of translation of an author who has a good reputation among our booksellers. I’m thinking of Bergson’s latest book, Durée et relativité [Duration and relativity][O3] . On one hand, to obtain the author’s permission, on the other, to come to an agreement with the publishers, it would again be necessary to rely on the fact that I’m a docent of the university. I might also translate Scheler[O4]  (Wesen u. [und] Formen der Sympathie [The Nature of Sympathy] or something similar), but he’s less known here in Poland and I don’t know if a publisher could be found. It’d also be possible to return to the old plan and translate Perception du changement [The Perception of Change], including the ‘Introduction to Metaphysics’, and ‘L’Intuition philosophique’ [Philosophical intuition]. Translating Bergson would also have the advantage of helping me to establish personal relations with him, which I would like to connect with writing the last part of my Bergson dissertation.

            Before I decide about all of this, I would also like to know whether the Department of Philosophy of J. Kazimierz University would be inclined to support my application to the Ministry. Thus I’m taking the liberty of turning to you with a polite request to graciously inform me about the prevailing general mood with reference to me in Lviv. Undoubtedly you’d be best informed in this regard.

            As for my intentions about going abroad, I’d like to go to Marburg for some time (a month), to become better acquainted there with Nicolai Hartmann[O5] , Heidegger[O6] , and Jaentsch[O7] ; then to Freiburg for a month in order to become acquainted with the new Husserlian things; finally to Paris for a few months, to establish relations with Bergson and to write the last part of my dissertation on intuition and intellect. I did honest work within my occupation and simultaneously on my original philosophy for so many years, despite the widest possible assortment of obstacles, that it seems to me now that to some extent I deserve the chance to deepen and broaden my studies.

            Upon returning from Warsaw, I found a long letter from Husserl, informing me, inter alia, that Volume VII of [Philosophical] Yearbook will come out at the end of January; unfortunately, though, Husserl was forced to postpone the publication of my dissertation to the next volume, printing of which will probably begin soon.

            While politely asking for a few lines in reply, I enclose expressions of the most profound esteem, as well as wishes for a fruitful ‘New Year’

                                                                                                               Roman Ingarden



[O1]Adam Zieleńczyk (1880‒1943)
[O2]Może Faustyn Dzik (1892‒1962)
[O3]Nie ma takiego tytułu – może Ingarden miał na myślę Durée et simultanéité [Duration and simultaneity]
[O4]Max Scheler (1874‒1928)
[O6]Martin Heidegger (1889‒1976)
[O7]Najprawdopodobnie Erich Rudolf Ferdinand Jaensch (1883‒1940)