Letter to Władysław Tatarkiewicz written 07.11.1969

Roman Ingarden
Cracow, Biskupia 14

Cracow, 7 November 1969


                               Dear Władysław,

                                               Thank you for the letter and card. We deeply regretted that you were unable to come to deliver your lecture, or to attend the General Assembly[O1] . I had to give a lecture myself – the same one as in Amsterdam. Anyway, apart from Szczepański, nobody from Warsaw was there. In general, the Aesthetics Section in Warsaw has not functioned at all for nearly ten years, even though there are three members of the Board in Warsaw. Morawski, whom I asked to send me a list of Warsaw lectures for the report, wrote me that in Warsaw people believe that there isn’t any need for meetings of the Aesthetic Section, because there are many other little conventicles [as he puts it] at which people can talk about these matters. Naturally, he himself founded the Polish Nationwide Seminar at the Polish Academy of Sciences, which now functions as an ‘aesthetics team’, run by Mr Krzemień, who was appointed for this purpose as a docent in order to direct it.

                At the General Assembly we chose a new Board, whereby we retained the three incumbent Warsaw members of the board, i.e. yourself, Prof. Wallis, and Prof. Morawski. From Cracow, we chose Ingarden as president, and three[O2]  members of the Board: Prof. Kalinowski, Prof. H. Markiewicz and docent Gołaszewska. The General Assembly resolved at the same time that the Board would establish itself (apart from the president). Therefore I turn to you with the proposition that you might be so gracious as to suggest candidates for the other ʻoffices’ of the Section Board: vice-president, secretary, and deputy secretary. The same query will be directed to the remaining Warsaw members of the Board. When I have the propositions of all the relevant gentlemen at my disposal, I’ll call a meeting of the Board here, in order to choose the vice-president, secretary, and deputy secretary as mentioned above.

                Another thing. You wrote about candidates for the Polish Academy of Sciences award. Well, first of all, I cannot consent to the candidature of Ms Rzepińska. Her book, like her other works, is a book on art history; as far as that goes, to the extent I can say anything about it, well and good. Secondly, her age already exceeds that of the ʻyoung workers of learning’. In 1936 or 1937 – in any case, before the war – she passed an examination with me on the main principles of philosophy. Even if she was only 22 or 23 years old at that time, today she must be around fifty at least. A few years ago Zawadowski’s (good) book was not wanted because he was too old; he’s only 55 now. So probably Ms Rzepińska is not much younger.

                I would propose a book by Michał Hempoliński, Problems of perception ‒ it’s about English analytic philosophy. On the basis of this book, he was habilitated in philosophy yesterday at the university here. This book, published this year, is the second by this author, who in 1966 published a book entitled At the source of philosophy of common sense, as well as several articles. He’s 39.

                Moreover, I believe that, formally, this matter should be carried out so that all members of the prize committee are notified, with a longer period of notice, that such and such candidatures have been received, and that they should also get the candidates’ books to read. Here in Cracow, for example, many books appearing in Poland fail to show up in local bookstores. In my opinion, the method applied last year, whereby it was only at the meeting that I learned who the candidates were, is completely unsuitable, and I can’t take part in the committee on these terms. In any case, I am presenting Hempolinski’s candidature to you, in your role as president of the Awards Committee.

            Unfortunately, today I received a notification that the meeting of the Section, including the matter of the prizes, will be held on 20 November. Maybe this whole matter could be deferred?

            I send cordial regards and best greetings to your wife.


            I’m coming to the Polish Academy of Sciences Session on the 18th and 19th.



[O1]Oryginalna wersja ma Zabranie zamiast Zebranie
[O2]inaczej nie ma sensu; oryginalna wersja ma człech zamiast czterech czy trzech [??]