From The Development of Mathematical Logic in Poland between the two Wars,
. . . The sudden appearance of Polish logicians, of whom nothing had been heard before, taking a leading part in the development of logic, may be regarded as an unaccountable event. It does not hold, however, any mystery, though its history is rather long, going back to the end of the last century. It begins in 1895, when Casimir Twardowski, after a few years of lecturing at Vienna University, came to Lwów and was appointed to the chair of philosophy. Twardowski was neither a logician nor a man whose mind was influenced by a close acquaintance with mathematical logic. His papers, which are few in number and small in volume, deal mostly with problems of ‘philosophical logic’, with the problems of percept, concept, proposition, etc. They provided a solid basis for future semantic investigations, at the same time being the starting-point of some interesting psychological analysis.1 But Twardowski prepared the ground for future development by training his numerous pupils in the use of scientific method in philosophy, by inculcating their minds with a great respect for clear thinking and precision of expression, and in general by fertilizing philosophic thought with the results of the scientific habit of mind. The influence of his teaching was assuredly extended by the particular circumstances under which at that time the exact sciences were developing. After the analytic work of Cauchy, Weierstrass, Dedekind, and Cantor, mathematics had just reached the exactitude of method and the conceptual clearness for which it was prematurely famous in past centuries ; the emerging Grundlagenproblem showed no limit to the control we can exercise over the methods adopted, every step forward being rewarded by ample and important results. In logic Frege was rediscovered, Peano was at his work, and the new knowledge was extended and systematized in Principia Mathematica. Physics was beginning to enter into the era of an intense urge for neatness, lucidity, and clearness of structure, which marks its present development. The study of the procedure of obtaining observational knowledge and a logical scrutiny of this procedure were being successfully applied, with the result that some revolutionary changes had to be introduced, the theory of relativity being the first of them. From this and other results came the recognition that ‘it is actually an aid to the search for knowledge to understand the nature of the knowledge which we seek’ (Eddington). Mathematics, logic, physics were showing how concentration on methods and the careful analysis of procedure yield far-reaching results and lead to new discoveries. In his teaching and writing Twardowski himself set the example of great analytical acumen and of eminent lucidity of thought and statement. His influence went far beyond the circle of ‘professional’ philosophers. W. Witwicki, a distinguished Warsaw psychologist ; J. Kleiner, an historian of literature ; R. Ganszyniec, a classical scholar, claimed equally the right of being his pupils. More than this, Twardowski was one of those men who, though little known outside the walls of colleges and universities, exercise a wide and powerful influence on the life of the nation to which they belong. We can say about him, with some measure of justice, what J. S. Mill said about his father : ‘He did not revolutionize or create one of the great departments of human thought. But in the power of influencing by mere force of mind and character the convictions and purposes of others, he left few equals among men.’
From FRANZ BRENTANO, 2002 by Wolfgang Huemer
Brentano has often been described as an extraordinarily charismatic teacher. Throughout his life he influenced a great number of students, many of who became important philosophers and psychologists in their own rights, such as Edmund Husserl, Alexius Meinong, Christian von Ehrenfels, Anton Marty, Carl Stumpf, Kasimir Twardowski, as well as Sigmund Freud. Many of his students became professors all over the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Marty in Prague, Meinong in Graz, and Twardowski in Lvov, and so spread Brentanianism over the whole Austro-Hungarian Empire. Another of Brentano's students, Tomas Masaryk, was to become founder and first President (from 1918 to 1935) of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, where he created ideal conditions for the study of Brentano's philosophy. These factors explain the central role of Brentano in the philosophical development in Middle-Europe, especially in what was later called the Austrian Tradition in philosophy.
Author Twardowski, Kazimierz, 1866-1938 Title On actions, products and other topics in philosophy / Kazimierz Twardowski ; edited by Johannes L. Brandl and Jan Wolenski ; translated and annotated by Arthur Szylewicz Publisher Amsterdam ; Atlanta, GA : Rodopi, 1999 Description 297 p. ; 23 cm Series Poznań studies in the philosophy of the sciences and the humanities ;v. 67 Polish analytical philosophy ;v. 1 ISBN 9042007885
Page created 31 August 2003
Last updated 9 November 2004