Polish Universalism in the Interwar Period

Dialogue and Universalism 17 (3-4):23-35 (2007)


The interwar decades in Poland were characterized by plurality and diversity. The purpose of the paper Polish Universalism in the Interwar Period is to show the foundations of the socio-philosophical trend, which is universalism. In modern philosophy universalism was in permanent conflict with individualism, but in the interwar period the reality became more complicated. It was “collectivism”—the trend based on the cult of the State, nation, race, and class—that started to aspire to be called universalism. The author does not classify these trends as universalist, and universalism itself criticized them. Different varieties of universalism can be found in the interwar period. The author indicates the literary-philosophical universalism of J.N. Miller, and the socio-conservative universalism of W.L. Jaworski, but she focuses on J. Braun’s conception of the universal subject and the idea of absolute union, and on Christian universalism,showing the importance of the emerging Polish personalism for universalist philosophy. In these proposals the author sees the germs of the later conception of ecumenism, dialogue, and the primacy of person over things.

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