The roots of the Department go back to 1948, when the History of Philosophy Department was established as a part of the Faculty of Christian Philosophy at the Catholic University of Lublin. The founder and first director of the Department was Professor Stefan Swieżawski, who was a former student of Kazimierz Twardowski (founder of the Polish analytic school of philosophy known as the Lvow-Warsaw school), and both a pupil and research assistant of Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz. Swieżawski is known in the world for his extensive research on 15th century philosophy that were undertaken in close cooperation with French historian of philosophy Etienne Gilson, for his philosophical books on the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas and for a book on the methodology of the history of philosophy.

In 1956, the History of Philosophy Department was split into the History of Ancient and Early Medieval Philosophy Department with Rev. Professor Marian Kurdziałek (a pupil of Professors Stefan Swieżawski and Aleksander Birkenmajer) as director, and the History of Medieval and Modern Philosophy Department with Professor Stefan Swieżawski as director. In 1977, the year of Professor Swieżawski's retirement, this division was subsequently modified and eventually the two current Department s emerged: the History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy Department and the History of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy Department . At the same time, as an effect of the retirement of Professor Swieżawski, Professor Jan Czerkawski (a pupil of Professor Swieżawski) became a new director of the latter Department . He led the Department for the next thirty years, until his death in 2007. Since then, Professor Piotr Gutowski (a pupil of Professor Czerkawski) has been the director of the Department .


The Department focuses its researches on Renaissance philosophy (Rev. Prof. Marian Ciszewski), modern rationalism: Leibniz and Spinoza (Dr Przemysław Gut), Malebranche (Mr Piotr Szałek MA MLitt MPhil), empiricism: Locke (Dr Marcin Iwanicki, Mr Piotr Szałek), Berkeley (Mr Piotr Szałek), and on contemporary American philosophy: Dewey and James (Prof. Piotr Gutowski), Alasdair MacIntyre (Mr Maksymilian Roszyk MA), Martha Nussbaum (Dr Anna Głąb), 'the open theism' (Mr Piotr Kaszkowiak MA), and John McDowell (Mr Piotr Szałek). Included among the results of these researches are:

  1. a substantial number of entries in the Universal Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (Powszechna Encyklopedia Filozofii) by Rev. Prof. M. Ciszewski (especially a comprehensive entry on the Renaissance philosophy),
  2. books by Prof. P. Gutowski about American process philosophy and about Dewey, as well as book by Dr P. Gut about Leibniz (prepared as part of research grants from the Polish Committee of Scholarly Research - KBN, the latter being published within an editorial series funded by the Foundation of Polish Science - FNP),
  3. books in progress about James by Prof. P. Gutowski and about Spinoza by Dr P. Gut (both supported also by grants from the Polish Committee of Scholarly Research - KBN), and also about Locke by Dr M. Iwanicki (on a basis of his doctoral dissertation, and supported by funds from the Polish Committee of Scholarly Research - KBN) and about M. Nussbaum by Dr A. Głąb (on a basis of her doctoral dissertation),
  4. a series of papers on Locke, Leibniz, Malebranche, Berkeley, McDowell, Ingraden, Jaspers, and epistemological externalism by Mr P. Szałek, about MacIntyre by Mr M. Roszyk, and a paper to be printed soon on American 'open theism' by Mr P. Kaszkowiak.

Currently the Department provides the three following graduate masters' seminars:

  • History of Renaissance Philosophy Seminar (run by Rev. Prof. Marian Ciszewski),
  • History of Modern Philosophy Seminar (run by Dr Przemysław Gut), and
  • History of Contemporary Philosophy Seminar (run by Prof. Piotr Gutowski).

There is also a separate graduate doctoral seminar in History of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy, run by Prof. Piotr Gutowski. Graduate diplomas obtained at the Department concern various issues of the history of modern and contemporary philosophy, focusing mainly on the history of metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical anthropology and the philosophy of religion.