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Leon Chwistek's Theory of Plurality of Realities

The project was financed by the National Programme for the Development of Humanities 3.1

Project no: 31H 13 0183 82

Supervisor: Dr Karol Chrobak

The purpose of the project is to promote the philosophy of Leon Chwistek in English. Particular emphasis will be devoted to texts concerning his theory of reality. The pivotal text for this project is the treatise "The Plurality of Realities" (1921) which is one of the most important philosophical texts of Polish interwar period. This presents a theory of four realities that is considered to be one of the most original and comprehensive philosophical theories of that time. It is important to show this theory in all its complexity - that is, taking into account the context of its creation, its main inspirations and the motives standing behind it. For that reason, also other texts on this theory will be translated: excerpts from the book "Meaning and Reality" (1916), "Three Lectures relating to the Concept of Existence" (1917), and "The Plurality of Realities in Art" (1918). In the latter text, Chwistek "translated" his theory of reality into the theory of art, in order to justify the autonomy and originality of the then new born Polish avant-garde art. This shows that Chwistek's theory had a much wider range of influence than purely philosophical. Based on his concept of reality Chwistek developed not only original directions in art, but engaged also in methodological, ethical, social and cultural issues.