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Uniwersytet Wrocławski

PhD School

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Maria Kostyszak, Full Professor (Professor Emerita)

I have been working in  the Institute of Philosophy at The University of Wrocław since 1978. My first academic works concerned the relation between philosophy and science in Spinoza’s and Pascal’s theories. The problem of opportunities and limitations connected with the modern attempt to subject philosophy to the rigor of scientific investigations pushed me to research into the field of difference between philosophy itself and philosophical thinking as interpreted by F. Nietzsche, M. Heidegger and J. Derrida. Thus, hermeneutics, deconstruction and philosophy of difference are the principal methodological frameworks within which I undertake analyses of some specific issues. It allows me to participate in the conferences organized by Society for Philosophy in Technology(Utah, Delft, Lisbon) to point to the difference between ethicality conceived traditionally and in a deconstructed, more egalitarian and inclusive way.

My books and articles concerned Spinoza’s, Pascal’s, M. Heidegger’s, F. Nietzsche’s and J. Derrida’s philosophical investigations. Recently I published a bilingual monography  Personal Ethics. On the Transforming Potential of Art and Technology/Etyka osobista. O przemieniającym potencjale sztuki i techniki (Warszawa 2019, open access:

It is an attempt to mobilize intense individual responsibility for our planet. In the epoch of slums and animal factories, ethics cannot be just a neutral theory of norms and values. The monography postulates individual creating of a narrative on morality based on sinderesis. Art and technology, conceived nonantagonistically, may play the role of allies in awakening ethical consciousness. They may help to crystallize subjectivity (agency) of a responsible human being who undertakes the effort of transforming  herself/himself from natural to civil coexistence. References to various artistic activities – film, music, fiction and fine arts  – offer the model of creative life, not devoid of empathy. Differential visual material of 99 photographs of works of art as well as of natural phenomena, included in the book,  encourages the reader to  undertake personal reflection on the place where meaning is born. Often it happens between words and images, which in a way supports individual experience of  plenitude.

Contact details:,, room 105 (The Institute of Philosophy)