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The Originality of Leszek Nowak’s Philosophical and Epistemological Thought

In: Organon F, vol. 30, no. 2
Giacomo Borbone


Year, pages: 2023, 171 - 181
Language: eng
Husserl; idealization; Leszek Nowak; Neopositivism; Poznań School of Methodology.
Article type: Discussion Note
About article:
One of the central aspects of contemporary epistemology lies in the difference between abstraction and idealization. While the former consists of the generalization of empirical facts, with the latter, those factors deemed secondary are neglected in order to operationalize instead those factors deemed essential. In the early years of the twentieth century, authors such as Cassirer and Husserl acutely pointed out the limitations of abstraction, reevaluating instead the idealizing character of scientific concepts. This distinction was also the subject of an important epistemological work published in 1980, namely The Structure of Idealization by Polish philosopher of science Leszek Nowak. At this point a question arises. In what does the orig- inality of Leszek Nowak’s reflection consist of? It could be said that Nowak’s importance here is twofold: terminological and systematic. From the terminological point of view Nowak made a very clear distinction between abstraction and idealization, which instead in authors such as Cassirer and Husserl are much more blurred or veiled. From the systematic point of view Nowak has extensively analyzed the way mature science works. In other words, Nowak highlighted the limits – but also the values – of contemporary epistemology by comparing the latter with the idealizational approach to science.
Supplementary documents:
File #3
How to cite:
ISO 690:
Borbone, G. 2023. The Originality of Leszek Nowak’s Philosophical and Epistemological Thought. In Organon F, vol. 30, no.2, pp. 171-181. 1335-0668. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2023.30209

Borbone, G. (2023). The Originality of Leszek Nowak’s Philosophical and Epistemological Thought. Organon F, 30(2), 171-181. 1335-0668. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2023.30209
About edition:
Publisher: Filozofický ústav SAV, Filosofický ústav AVČR
Published: 1. 7. 2023
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0)