Department of History of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy

Prof. dr hab. Danilo Facca Head
Dr Katarzyna Kremplewska
Dr hab. Valentina Lepri, prof.  IFiS PAN
Dr hab. Sławomir Mazurek, prof.  IFiS PAN
Dr hab. Przemysław Parszutowicz, prof. IFiS PAN
Dr hab. Wojciech Starzyński, prof. IFiS PAN

Dr Matthias Roick (scholarship recipient PASIFIC)
Jakub Wolak (PhD student GSSR, grant PRELUDIUM)

The Department was established on October the 1st 2003 as a result of merging the Department of the History of Modern Philosophy, which had been created in 1955, and the Department of the History of Contemporary Philosophy, which had existed since 1990. It currently employs six people and has a permanent staff of retired professors of the Department. It is headed by Prof. Danilo Facca.

The task of the Department is to develop research in modern and contemporary philosophical and social thought. The thematic profile of the Department is quite broad. It includes research in European philosophy and intellectual history of modern and contemporary times (especially in Germany, England, France, Italy, The United States, Poland and Russia) as well as the study of the reception of European thought in Poland. Traditional areas of philosophy, such as metaphysics, practical philosophy, philosophy of religion and epistemology, as well as social and political philosophy are among the research areas of our scholars.

The following research topics are undertaken within the Department:

  • modern metaphysics (Descartes) and its influence on contemporary philosophy, especially French phenomenology;
  • history of philosophy as well as intellectual history in the early modern epoch, with particular emphasis on the reception of ancient philosophy in the humanist and Renaissance versions;
  • The editing of modern philosophical texts;
  • history of Russian philosophy and social thought of the 19th and 20th centuries, especially the so-called Russian religious-philosophical renaissance and its connections with Western thought;
  • the recent history of ideas – the study of the transformation of historiosophical concepts in the second half of the 20th century;
  • the history of the philosophy of the Enlightenment, especially the French and Polish Enlightenment;
  • the history and theory of German transcendentalism;
  • Kantianism, neo-Kantianism, Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy;
  • methodology of humanities;
  • contemporary American philosophy and cultural criticism

The Department hosts the editorial board of the journal “Archives of the History of Philosophy and Social Thought” (Archiwum Historii Filozofii I Myśli Społecznej) – one of the oldest and most prestigious Polish philosophical journals, founded by Bronislaw Baczko, Jan Garewicz and Leszek Kolakowski. (

The Department maintains numerous international contacts with academic institutions in France, Italy, Hungary, Brazil, the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine. It also conducts cyclical seminars on the history of philosophy and history of ideas.

Among notable scholars affiliated with the Department were:

Prof. Stanisław Borzym – long-time head of the Department. Specialist in Polish philosophy of the 19th and 20th centuries (especially in connection with French and German thought). Long-time editor-in-chief of the annual “Archive of the History of Philosophy and Social Thought.” He has published, among others: Bergson a przemiany światopoglądowe w Polsce (Bergson and Worldview Transformations in Poland), Wroclaw 1984; Filozofia polska 1900-1950 (Polish Philosophy 1900-1950), Wroclaw 1991; Panorama polskiej myśli filozoficznej (Panorama of Polish Philosophical Thought), Warsaw 1993; Obecność ryzyka. Szkice z filozofii powszechnej, (The Presence of Risk. Sketches in Universal Philosophy), Warsaw 1998; Przeszłość dla przyszłości. Z dziejów myśli polskiej (Past for the Future. From the History of Polish Thought), Warsaw 2003; Hamann i inni. Szkice filozoficzne (Hamann and Others. Sketches in Philosophy), Warsaw 2009.

Prof. Zbigniew Ogonowski – historian of philosophy and ideas. He has published, among others: Z zagadnień tolerancji w Polsce XVII wieku (Issues of Tolerance in Poland), 1958, Locke (1972), Filozofia i myśl społeczna XVII wieku. 700 lat myśli polskiej, cz. I i II (Philosophy and Social Thought of the XVII Century. 700 Years of Polish Thought, Parts I and II) (1979), Zarys dziejów filozofii w Polsce. Wieki XIII-XVIII (współaut. i red.) (1989) (Outline of the History of Philosophy in Poland. Centuries XIII-XVIII (co-author and ed.) (1989), Myśl ariańska w Polsce XVII wieku. Antologia tekstów (Arian Thought in Poland of the XVII century. An anthology of texts) (1991), Filozofia polityczna w Polsce XVII wieku i tradycje demokracji europejskiej (Political Philosophy in Poland of the 17th Century and the Traditions of European Democracy) (1992). Former editor-in-chief of the “Archive of the History of Philosophy and Social Thought)”.

Prof. Marian Skrzypek – historian of philosophy and religion. He specializes in the study of the Enlightenment thought, mainly French and Polish. Author of monographs on Diderot, Holbach, Maréchal and translator of their works. He has also written: Oświecenie francuskie a początki religioznawstwa (The French Enlightenment and the Origins of Religious Studies) (1989); as part of the “700 Years of Polish Thought” series, he published a volume on Polish philosophy from 1700 to 1763. Recently, he translated and compiled La Mettrie’s Philosophical Works (Warsaw 2011). He is a recipient of the French Palmes Academiques.

Prof. Lech Szczucki – historian of philosophy and culture. Member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences PAU), full member of the Warsaw Scientific Society (TNW). Major works: Marcin Czechowic. Studium z dziejów antytrynitaiyzmu polskiego (Marcin Cechowicz. A Study in the History of Polish Antitrinitarianism), 1964; Michał Seruet. Wybór pism i dokumentów (Michal Servet. A Selection of Writings and Documents), 1967; Myśl filozoficzno-religijna reformacji XVI wieku (Philosophical and Religious Thought of the Reformation of the 16th Century) 1972; W kręgu myślicieli heretyckich (In the Circle of Heretical Thinkers) 1972; Filozofia i myśl społeczna XVI wieku-700 lat myśli polskiej) (Philosophy and Social Thought of the 16th Century-700 Years of Polish Thought), 1978; Nonkonformiści religijni XVI i XVII wieku (Religious Nonconformists of the 16th and 17th Centuries) 1993; Humaniści, heretycy i inkwizytorzy (Humanists, Heretics and Inquisitors) 2006. Former editor-in-chief of the “Archive of the History of Philosophy and Social Thought”.

Zakład Historii Filozofii Nowożytnej i Współczesnej
Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii PAN
00–330 Warszawa, ul. Nowy Świat 72, room 118
tel. +48 22 657 27 31



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