Prof. Jan Woleński, PhD hab. – FNP Prize 2013 laureate
born in 1940 in Radom. A philosopher and lawyer, he graduated from Jagiellonian University in both these fields. He obtained a doctoral degree in law in 1968 and a postdoctoral degree in the theory of state and law in 1972. He worked at Jagiellonian University’s Theory of State and Law Unit in 1963-1979 (from 1968 at the Department of the Theory of State and Law of Jagiellonian University’s Institute of Political Science), and in 1979-1988 – at the Institute of Social Sciences (from 1982 at the Institute of Social Sciences and Economics) of the Wrocław University of Technology. He has been working at Jagiellonian University’s Institute of Philosophy since 1988. He obtained the title of humanities professor in 1992.
A beneficiary of the Kościuszko Foundation in 1989-1990 (University of Berkeley, USA) and 1993-1994 (Boston University, USA, and University of Pittsburgh, USA). In 2003-2004 he was a grant holder of the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study in Social Sciences and Humanities in Wassenaar. He was a visiting professor at the university in Salzburg (Austria) in 1992, in Lviv in 2003, in Sun Yat-sen (Guangzhou, China) and at the Hebrew University (Jerusalem) in 2008. A lecturer at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the University of Warsaw and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, he has also been the initiator of numerous conferences on Polish philosophy organized abroad, including in Jerusalem, Montreal, Paris, Vienna and Tel Aviv.
He is a member of Polish and international academic organizations: the Polish Philosophical Society, Polish Association for Logic and Philosophy of Science (chairman in 1999-2002), Polish Semiotic Society, Polish Mathematical Society, Polish Academy of Sciences (corresponding member), Warsaw Scientific Society, Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (active member), Academia Europea, American Mathematical Society, Aristotelian Society, Brentano Gesellschaft, Vienna Circle Institute, European Society for Analytical Philosophy (chairman 2006-2008), Institut International de Philosophie. In 1992–2012 he was the Polish delegate to the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science/Division of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science. He currently chairs the Committee on Ethics in Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He is a member of many editorial boards in Poland and abroad, at periodicals (Filozofia Nauki, Kwartalnik Filozoficzny, Principia, Przegląd Filozoficzny, The Polish Journal of Philosophy (chairman), Axiomathes, Conceptus, History and Philosophy of Logic, Dialectica, The Monist, Theoria) and for book series (Biblioteka Filozofii Współczesnej, Synthese Library).
He has supervised 25 doctoral dissertations. He has published almost 2,000 works, 650 of them internationally, the latter including 29 books (5 of them monographs) and 620 papers. His most important books include: Z zagadnień analitycznej filozofii prawa (1980, 2nd ed. 2013), Filozoficzna szkoła lwowsko-warszawska (Warszawa, 1985; English edition: Logic and Philosophy in the Lvov-Warsaw School, 1989; Russian edition 2004, French edition 2011, Romanian edition 2013), Granice niewiary (Kraków, 2004), Matematyka i epistemologia (2004), Epistemologia. Poznanie, prawda, wiedza i realizm (Warszawa, 2005), Wiedza o etyce (2008, with J. Hartman), Historia filozofii polskiej (2010, with J. Skoczyński) and the collections of essays W stronę logiki (1996), Essays in Logic and Its Applications in Philosophy (2011) and Historico-Philosophical Essays (2012). His works have been published in Polish, English, French, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Russian, Romanian and Ukrainian.
He has received numerous awards, including the Tadeusz Kotarbiński Award in philosophy (Polish Academy of Sciences, 1987), the Societatis Scientiarium Varsoviensis Premium Triennale award (1991), the Minister of Education’s Prize (1993), the City of Cracow Prize for academic achievement (1996), the Prime Minister’s Prize for academic achievement (2002), the Jagiellonian Laurels (2009). He has also received a Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2011).
Prof. Jan Woleński, winner of the FNP Prize in 2013 in the humanities and social sciences, for a comprehensive analysis of the work of the Lvov-Warsaw school and for placing its achievements within the international discourse of contemporary philosophy.
Prof. Jan Woleński’s field of study is the history of philosophy, especially Polish philosophy, formal logic and its history, philosophy of language and epistemology, ethics and philosophy of law. Today he is one of the internationally most identifiable Polish philosophers.
He continues the tradition of the Lvov-Warsaw school, the famous Polish centre of philosophy and logic founded in Lvov in the late 19th century under the leadership of Kazimierz Twardowski. Thanks to the studies of Prof. Woleński as well as his continuators, Polish analytical philosophy has gained wide recognition as one of the greatest achievements of 20th-century humanities.
The professor is reconstructing the achievements of representatives of the Lvov-Warsaw school (including Kazimierz Twardowski, Tadeusz Kotarbiński, Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz, Alfred Tarski, Jan Łukasiewicz, Stanisław Leśniewski) which – in many cases – have become a part of the international canon of contemporary philosophy thanks to his publications.
Prof. Woleński analyses classical notions of epistemology (a branch of philosophy dealing with the relations between a subject’s cognitive capacity and the world and reality) such as truth, cognition and knowledge. His studies also focus on specific epistemological, methodological and ontological issues like realism, intentionality, meaning, nominalism, reism, conventionalism, determinism.