Letter to Kazimierz Twardowski written 22.11.1922

Toruń, 22/11/1922.



Most Honourable Professor!

            I apologise for sending my school-leaving certificate only today, as an attachment to the application submitted for the nostrification of my doctorate. Immediately following my arrival, however, I had a great deal of work, and then I became ill and lay in bed for a week. At present I’m well, though I still feel a bit fatigued.

            My article about Max Scheler and translation of his essay ‘Zum Phaenomen [Phänomen] des Tragischen’ [On the phenomenon of the tragic, published in English as ‘On the Tragic’] came out recently. When I was passing through Warsaw, Mr Kołaczkowski told me that they had forgotten to arrange for offprints for me. I asked, therefore, that the administration be directed to send you one copy of Warsaw Review no. 13. A few days ago, Mr Kołaczkowski informed me that this had already been done. Probably, then, this copy is already in your hands. I ask you to accept it from me as a token of my most profound esteem.

            This article, written for a literary magazine, maintains a popular and exclusively report-like tone; it has no academic value. However, it may interest you because I’ve attempted to sketch the figure of Scheler and his views against the spiritual background of wartime Germany.

            A few days ago, the latest issue of Philosophical Review, with my polemic against Mr Chwistek’s Wielości rzeczywistości [A plurality of realities] was sent to me as well. This matter involves an unpleasant aspect for me. Mr Chwistek’s book irritated me immensely at one point. As a result, the entire article is written in a very sharp tone, and must be painful for Mr Chwistek. I noticed this when, after sending the manuscript to the editorial office, I read a copy at home. Immediately I wrote to Borowski[O1]  with a request to send me the first proofs in order to soften a number of harsh expressions. Unfortunately, Mr Borowski didn’t carry out my request, and it was only in Warsaw during the trip to Lviv that I learned that the thing had already been printed. It’s exceedingly regrettable for me because I feel that the polemic is discourteous, and I didn’t want that at all. Even today, though, I believe that it’s truthful; it’s just that this truth could have been stated in a much pleasanter form. I’d be very curious as to what impression this polemic has made on you. (I haven’t sent offprints because they haven’t been sent to me yet!) I’m especially interested in what you think about my arguments on the subject of the ‘constructive method’. I’d also be very grateful if you’d graciously describe in a few words the impression my dissertation makes on you. (So far, I’ve got only the opinions of several Germans in this regard: Husserl, Scheler, and Stein.) Especially whether it’s worth continuing this paper and completing the second (positive) part, which as of now consists only of notes and is awaiting my trip to Paris and a conference with Bergson.

            I recently sent a polemical article against Kotarbiński’s ‘Essence of inner experience’ to Phil. Review. I’ve had no answer yet as to whether it’ll be printed.

            I enclose expressions of my profound esteem and send my best regards to your wife

                                                                                                               Roman Ingarden


In the immediate future, Vol. VI of Jahrbuch für Philosophie [Yearbook of Philosophy] will come out, with, inter alia, a paper by Ms Conrad-Martius entitled ‘Ontologie der Natur’ [German: Ontology of nature].



[O1]Marian Borowski (1879‒1938)