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Keywords:

  • Lwow-Warsaw philosophical school;
  • Marxism in Poland;
  • Poznań school in the philosophy of science and methodology;
  • idealizational theory of science;
  • modeling in history;
  • essentialism

ABSTRACT

This selection of texts (mostly translations from Polish) should interest those who study analytical philosophy of history, methodology of history, and historical sociology. It contains contributions by Polish historians and philosophers since 1931, with pride of place given to the work of the Poznań school in the philosophy of science and humanities. With Jerzy Kmita, Leszek Nowak, and Jerzy Topolski as its leaders, it emerged in late 1960s as a synthesis of Marxism and the Polish brand of logical positivism known as the Lwow-Warsaw school. Most papers discuss or exemplify various forms of idealization in historical research. Although the papers demonstrate the usefulness of modeling in historical sociology and nonnarrative history, the collection as a whole does not provide realistic examples to substantiate the Poznań school's stronger claim of the decomposability of historical narratives into separate strips related to hierarchically ordered “essential factors.”