Philosophy has been cultivated at our university since the turn of the 14th century. In the 16th century it continued to enjoy international recognition. Although in the next century its position weakened, there nevertheless appeared distinguished philosophers, such as Sebastian Petrycy of Pilsen (1554-1626), professor of medicine, or Jan Brożek (1585-1652), also known as Ioannes Broscius (the building presently occupied by the Institute of Philosophy, Collegium Broscianum , is named after him), an eminent theologian, mathematician, astronomer (propagator of Copernicus’s theory), historian of science, theoretician of music, teacher of philosophy, and author of the work Apologia pro Aristotele. In the very same century a significant role was played by Szymon Stanisław Makowski, follower of St. Thomas Aquinas, author of A Course of Philosophy According to the Genuine Doctrine of Aristotle, the Prince of Philosophers (Kurs filozofii wedle prawdziwej doktryny Arystotelesa, księcia filozofów).

New currents in philosophy and teaching methods are a result of the first reform of the university, carried out around the middle of the 18th century by the professor of mathematics and philosophy, Rev. Józef Alojzy Putanowicz. In the second half of the 18th century his disciple Marcin Œwištkowski, an advocate of the philosophy of Christian Wolff, represented, in his own original way, the trends of the Enlightenment. He was the author of Prodromus Polonus (The Polish Herald). During the period of reforms introduced by Hugo Kołłštaj and the Education Commission, the teaching of philosophy was restricted and the philosophy of Wolff, Descartes, Leibniz, and Locke (Rev. Wincenty Smaczniński and Rev. Andrzej Cyankiewicz) was promoted. Two of the most eminent representatives of the philosophy of the Enlightenment in Poland, Hugo Kołłštaj (influenced by the French encyclopedists) and Jan Œniadecki (who, along with his brother Jędrzej, drew upon the philosophy of common sense), both alumni of the Jagiellonian University and its reformers, propagated a new vision of ethics and the philosophy of science (the beginnings of positivism). In the 19th century an important role in the history of philosophy was played by Rev. Feliks Jaroński, the author of the programmatic speech: What Kind of Philosophy Do Poles Need? (Jakiej filozofii potrzebujš Polacy?), published in 1810. The philosophy of Immanuel Kant significantly influenced philosophy in Krakow; it had a fervent adherent in the person of Józef Emanuel Jankowski and equally passionate opponents in the persons of Feliks Jaroński and Jan Œniadecki.

Michał Wiszniewski, an advocate of the philosophy of common sense and the methodology of Francis Bacon, played a significant role at the University in the first part of the 19th century. He is the author of Bacon’s Method of Explaining Nature (Bacona metoda tłumaczenia natury; BKF, PWN 1976). In the same century Hegelianism was represented at our University by Józef Kremer (1806-1875).

A very original figure was Maurycy Straszewski (1848-1921), an advocate of empiricism and scientific philosophy, also well known as a historian of philosophy. Even more interesting was the erudite Rev. Stefan Pawlicki, a champion of philosophy as the art of life, the teacher of Leon Chwistek. For a short period of time Wincenty Lutosławski (1863-1954), a representative of Messianism and the author of an important book, The Origin and Growth of Plato’s Logic (London, 1905), was a lecturer of philosophy. Later we had a number of important scholars: Witold Rubczyński (1864-1938), who dealt with ethics, aesthetics, and the history of philosophy; Joachim Metallmann (1889-1942), a methodologist, philosopher of the natural sciences, and an interpreter of the philosophy of Whitehead; Rev. Konstanty Michalski (1879-1947), an expert in the philosophy of Middle Ages; Władysław Heinrich (1869-1957), a disciple of Avenarius, a critic al empiricist, experimental psychologist, and a historian of philosophy.

After World War II, in spite of the ideological control exercised by the communist party, independent philosophy was still cultivated. Eminent philosophical figures in Krakow included: Zygmunt Zawirski (1882-1948), a philosopher of nature; Janina Kiersnowska-Suchorzewska (1886-1967), a philosopher of nature, a historian of philosophy, and an expert in the philosophy of Kant and the neo-Kantians; Władysław Tatarkiewicz (1886-1980), a historian of philosophy and aesthetician; Roman Ingarden (1893-1970), a disciple of Edmund Husserl, a phenomenologist, the creator of phenomenological aesthetics, and author of Dispute concerning the Existence of the World (Spór o istnienie œwiata); Jan Leszczyński (1905-1990), an ontologist, epistemologist, and an expert in semiotics; Danuta Gierulanka (1909-1995), a phenomenologist, philosopher of mathematics, and psychologist; Izydora Dšmbska (1904-1983), an epistemologist, disciple of Kazimierz Twardowski, and a distinguished representative of the Lvov-Warsaw school; Daniela Gromska (1889-1973), an expert in classical philology, historian of philosophy, and translator of Aristotle and Theophrastus. In the mid-60’s Roman Ingarden retired from university work and due to pressure exerted by the Communist Party Izydora Dšmbska was compelled to move to the Polish Academy of Sciences.

In the field of logic and its history the work of Kazimierz Pasenkiewicz (1897-1995) and Stanisław Surma played a significant role.

The Institute of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University came into existence in 1967, when the Chairs of Philosophy, the History of Philosophy, Logic, and the Philosophy of Nature were merged.

The last thirty years have witnessed the growth of ontology at the Institute of Philosophy, due in large measure to the work of Prof. Emeritus Władysław Stróżewski, a student of Roman Ingarden; this growth has been supported by research inspired by the natural sciences, conducted by Prof. Emeritus Zdzisława Pištek, Assoc. Prof. Emeritus Józef Misiek, and presently their younger colleagues. The works of Prof. Józef Lipiec, who has also to a certain extent been influenced by phenomenology, exhibit a combination of ontological, axiological, and social problems. The analytic orientation in the areas of ontology and epistemology is also represented by Assoc. Prof. Jerzy Szymura. Prof. Jan Woleński continues the traditions of the Lvov-Warsaw School and of analytic philosophy in the areas of epistemology, philosophical logic, and philosophy of science. Around Prof. Woleński there has arisen a group of young philosophers who have been engaged in research in the areas of epistemology, theory of language, decision theory, and philosophy of science. Especially noteworthy in this area are the achievements of Assoc. Prof. Tomasz Placek, whose principal interests are the philosophy of physics. The main area of interest of Assoc. Prof. Tadeusz Czarnecki are problems connected with the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Krakow logic, directed by Prof. Andrzej Wroński, continues the tradition of the Polish school of logic created by Łukasiewicz, Leœniewski, and Tarski. In the spirit of this tradition, logical research is conducted using mathematical methods and focuses on domains that are closely related to universal algebra. In the last few years the Krakow group – together with the group led by Prof. H. Ono at JAIST – has been conducting research on so-called substructural logics. Another important theme is research on equivalence, and in particular on problems of so-called Fregean manifolds, introduced by P. M. Idziak, K. Słomczyńska, and A. Wroński in 1996. Apart from strictly logical themes, research was also conducted on the border between logic and ontology by Prof. Jerzy Perzanowski, deceased in 2009, and in the areas of praxeology, rhetoric, history of logic, and formal logic (Prof. Wojciech Suchoń). Work undertaken by Prof. Perzanowski in the area of cognitive science, which laid the foundations for opening a new field of study in this area, has been continued by Rev. Prof. Józef Bremer. Ethics has developed along a number of lines: the theory of the good (Prof. Włodzimierz Galewicz), ontological reflection in ethics (Assoc. Prof. Jacek Filek), the border between law and ethics (Assoc. Prof. Paweł Dudkiewicz), and philosophical anthropology (Assoc. Prof. Marek Drwięga). In the area of aesthetics, research in contemporary aesthetics conducted by Prof. Krystyna Wilkoszewska and her colleagues occupies an important position, continuing the tradition of cultivating this discipline created by Roman Ingarden and his student Prof. Emeritus Maria Gołaszewska. Assoc. Prof. Michał Ostrowicki is currently working in the area of aesthetics and cyberculture. Research in the area of philosophy of the East at the Institute has achieved recognition in Poland and abroad thanks to the efforts of Prof. Emeritus Beata Szymańska, Assoc. Prof. Marta Kudelska, and their colleagues. Research is being conducted in the area of the semiotics of art and hermeneutic and analytic aesthetics (Assoc. Prof. Franciszek Chmielowski and Assoc. Prof. Leszek Sosnowski). Assoc. Prof. Piotr Mróz and his younger colleagues have been developing reflection in the areas of the philosophy of culture, phenomenology, and existentialism. Research on medieval philosophy is also conducted at the Institute of Philosophy (Assoc. Prof. Jacek Widomski, Assoc. Prof. Marcin Karas). Significant work is being done in the history of philosophy by Prof. Elżbieta Paczkowska-Łagowska and Assoc. Prof. Janusz Mizera work in the area of contemporary German philosophy and hermeneutics, and by Prof. Jan Skoczyński and scholars working under his direction in the history of Polish philosophy (since 2006 they belong to the newly formed Department of Polish Philosophy). The history of Russian philosophy was also a special object of interest of Prof. Włodzimierz Rydzewski, who passed away several years ago, having created an important center for research on Russian philosophical thought. Assoc. Prof. Michał Bohun, together with a younger colleague, continues to pursue research and publish important works in this area. The work of Prof. Ryszard Legutko occupies an exceptional position in the history of ancient philosophy (translations and commentaries to Plato’s dialogues) and of modern philosophy (the problem of toleration). Prof. Ryszard Legutko, and Prof. Justyna Miklaszewska (who specializes in recent American political theory), together with Assoc. Prof. Miłowit Kuniński and other younger scholars, have been working on political philosophy for many years both from a historical point of view (as a part of the history of ideas) and from a systematic perspective.

All basic philosophical disciplines are represented at the Institute: ontology, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of culture, philosophy of the natural sciences, history of philosophy from antiquity to the present, political philosophy and its history, formal logic, philosophical logic, cognitive science, history of logic, as well as Polish philosophy, Russian philosophy, and philosophy of the East.

[Prepared by M. Kuniński on the basis of the following sources: Studies on the History of the Faculty of Philosophy and History at the Jagiellonian University (Studia z dziejów Wydziału Filozoficzno-Historycznego Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego), edited by S. Mikucki, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, 1967, materials from The Golden Book of the Faculty of Philosophy (Złota Księga Wydziału Filozoficznego) and a description of the Institute of Philosophy found in “Principia – Philosophical Express” (“Principia – Ekspres Filozoficzny”), 2001.]