Philosophy has been studied at the Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) since the beginning of this university. The section (group) of philosophical sciences functioned at the Faculty of the Humanities. Besides, classes in philosophy were conducted at other faculties. The key teachers of philosophy or kin disciplines were the following: Rev. Idzi Radziszewski, Rev. Stanisław Domińczak, Bohdan Rutkiewicz, Jacek Woroniecki OP, Rev. Józef Pastuszka, Henryk Jakubanis, and Rev. Antoni Szymański. The statute of KUL of 1938 provided for the establishment of a new faculty, aside to the four faculties that had already existed. The Second World War blocked those plans, therefore the Faculty of Christian Philosophy was erected as late as 1946. A solemn opening of the Faculty took place on 10th November 1946, and the classes had begun several days before. A principal role in its organisation was played by Rev. Józef Pastuszka, the first dean. Other lecturers were: Stefan Swieżawski, Rev. Stanisław Adamczyk, Rev. Antoni Korcik, Stefan Harassek (visiting professor), and sometime later Feliks W. Bednarski OP.

The 1940s

The first period of the Faculty (1946-1949) is the period of organisation and first doctoral promotions of, among others: Rev. Jerzy Ablewicz, Rev. Stanisław Kamiński, Józef Majkowski SJ, Rev. Marian Kurdziałek, Rev. Wacław Eborowicz, and Rev. Jan Drzazga.

The 1950s

In 1949, the Faculty was divided into two departments: theoretical philosophy and practical philosophy. The Faculty of Law and Social Sciences was suspended then, so its staff (Jerzy Kalinowski, Czesław Strzeszewski, Jan Turowski and others) went over to practical philosophy. The staff was joined by other members: Rev. Stanisław Kamiński (1949), Rev. Marian Kurdziałek (1950), and the doctor of the Theological Faculty of KUL, a Dominican from Cracow, Mieczysław A. Krąpiec (1951). The arrival of Rev. Mieczysław Dybowski raised interest in empirical psychology. Psychological courses were first placed at the department of theoretical philosophy, then at the department of practical philosophy. The number of students in the years 1950-1952 rose from almost fifty to over one thousand. The times of Stalin oppression had come and they meant isolation from other centres and difficulties in publications. The state authorities at the time expelled some professors (among others, Rev. J. Pastuszka, Rev. S. Adamczyk, and Cz. Strzeszewski) from the University. Jerzy Kalinowski was made Dean, while S. Swieżawski, Fr. M.A. Krąpiec, and Rev. S. Kamiński became more active. Rev. Józef Iwanicki and Rev. Karol Wojtyła (from 1954) joined the faculty.

The third period of the Faculty (1952-1956) was the time of meaningful transformations. Despite external limitations, or, owing to them, the milieu had consolidated, various forms of collaboration were initiated, animated discussions were conducted, in which the lecturers and students took an active part. It was the time when the Lublin School was established. Rev. Kazimierz Kłósak was the first to have used this name. His work was very intensive at the specialisation of natural philosophy for several years. The founders of the School were: J. Kalinowski, S. Swieżawski, Fr. M.A. Krąpiec, then joined by Rev. K. Wojtyła and Rev. S. Kamiński.

The Lublin School had a certain programme of research co-operation and its own profile to study philosophy. Philosophy studies should be based on three pillars: a thorough knowledge of the history of philosophy (especially the philosophy of being); a developed methodological awareness, i.e. a good knowledge of contemporary logical and methodological tools; and the philosophy of being (metaphysics) pursued in its tradition of realism in the spirit of existential Thomism. Fr. M.A. Krąpiec and S. Swieżawski followed the conception of Etienne Gilson in this respect. Rev. K. Wojtyła joined this orientation, and formulated a separate form of personalism in ethics. The Lublin School, although in terms of its content it is a Thomistic school, specifically stressed and stresses now the importance of methodological self-awareness and methodological research developed in connection with contemporary logic. Thus it has always referred to the tradition of the Lvov-Warsaw school. A certain role in this respect was played by personal relations. S. Swieżawski participated in Kazimierz Twardowski's last classes. He was a disciple of Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz and Roman Ingarden. Jan Łukasiewicz was one of Antoni Korcik's teachers. Rev. S. Kamiński had contacts on scholarly bases with K. Ajdukiewicz, Tadeusz Czeżowski, Jerzy Słupecki, and Andrzej Mostowski. Izydora Dąmbska, a laureate of the Rev. I. Radziszewski TNKUL award, often visited the Faculty. Ludwik Borkowski, the later Head of the Chair of Logic, also began his studies in Lvov. Besides, there were contacts, among others, with Władysław Tatarkiewicz and Roman Ingarden.

The 1960s and 1970s

The activity of the school gathered momentum when a new generation of disciples appeared (among others, Mieczysław Gogacz, Franciszka Wilczek, Antoni B. Stępień, Rev. Marian Jaworski, Władysław Stróżewski, Rev. Bohdan Bejze, Rev. Bronisław Dembowski, Stanisław Majdański, Leon Koj, Witold Marciszewski, and Tadeusz Kwiatkowski). The fourth period (1957-1981) began with liberalization of some restrictions (academics could go abroad, publish, discuss with Marxists, and co-operate with the Polish Academy of Sciences), and those professors who had formerly been expelled from the university could return to their work. The first Philosophical Weeks played an essential role in enlivening the milieu and establishing contacts with other centres. They were organised by the Circle of Philosophy Students of KUL. The faculty had been divided into four specialisations (the state authorities did not consent to call them departments): theoretical philosophy, natural philosophy, social philosophy, and psychological philosophy. In 1981 the latter two specialisations (as departments) were placed within the Faculty of Social Sciences (the Chair of Ethics was established at the Faculty of Philosophy). In the beginning of this period the following scholars left KUL: J. Kalinowski (he went to France), Fr. F.W. Bednarski (he went for many years to Rome), Rev. J. Iwanicki (he went to the Academy of Catholic Theology in Warsaw), W. Stróżewski (went to the Jagiellonian University), L. Koj and T. Kwiatkowski (to UMCS), M. Gogacz to ATK, also Rev. B. Bejze left KUL and others, including a large group of philosophy historians. In 1967 Rev. S. Adamczyk retired. A new generation of active scholars appeared: Kazimierz Wójcik, Czesław Wojtkiewicz, Rev. Józef Herbut, S. Zofia Zdybicka, Rev. Andrzej Wawrzyniak, Rev. Tadeusz Styczeń, Jerzy Gałkowski, Jan Czerkawski, Zenon Kałuża, and many others. In 1976 S. Swieżawski retired. In 1975 Ludwik Borkowski became head of the chair of logic for ten years, thereby giving an important impulse to the research on formal logic. Another generation became active: Stanisław Kiczuk, Rev. Andrzej Bronk, Anna I. Buczek, Rev. Andrzej Szostek, Fr. Edward I. Zieliński, Rev. Bp Stanisław Wielgus, Rev. Romuald J. Weksler-Waszkinel, Zdzisław Dywan, and Urszula Żegleń.

The 1980s and 1990s

The 1980s and the 1990s had brought about other research problems confronted by the new generation of disciples. Under the impact of the external and political affairs some scholars concentrated on the issues on the border of the philosophy of society and the philosophy of culture─post-modernism and philosophical journalism (Piotr Jaroszyński, Henryk Kiereś and others).

Some dealt with current discussions ongoing within analytical philosophy and drew direct contacts with the representatives of various orientations in this strain (especially Tadeusz Szubka, Piotr Gutowski, Urszula Żegleń, Stanisław Judycki, Paweł Kawalec, and Jacek Wojtysiak). The new generation focuses on more traditional problems of metaphysics (Rev. Andrzej Maryniarczyk, Włodzimierz Dłubacz, and Rev. Piotr Moskal) or ethical (S. Barbarza Chyrowicz, Kazimierz Krajewski, and Rev. Alfred Wierzbicki).

Together with the establishment of the Philosophy Faculty (1946) the Chair of Cosmology was erected. It was then re-organised and, as a result, the department of natural philosophy was established in the academic year of 1957/1958. In 1992 the department was extended by a specialisation: environmental protection, and in 1996 mathematics with computer science. The two specialisations constituted the foundation of the Mathematical and Natural Sciences Faculty in 1997. The research on cosmology, philosophy of natural sciences, and philosophy of biology was initiated at the department of natural philosophy by Rev. Kazimierz Kłósak, Rev. Stanisław Adamczyk, Rev. Stanisław Mazierski, Rev. Włodzimierz Sedlak, and Teresa Ściborska-Rylska. At the moment it is continued by Rev. Zygmunt Hajduk, Rev. Abp Józef Życiński, and Zenon Roskal (with regard to the philosophy of natural sciences), Rev. Stanisław Zięba, Zbigniew Wróblewski (ecophilosophy), Józef Zon, Marian Wnuk (philosophy of biology, theoretical biology). As a special achievement of the Lublin school of philosophy one could mention:

  1. the formation and development of an original form of existential Thomism, especially with regard to the philosophy of being and philosophy of man (M.A. Krąpiec and his disciples: Rev. A. Maryniarczyk, P. Jaroszyński, H. Kiereś, Rev. B. Czupryn, P. Skrzydlewski, P. Gondek, A. Gudaniec, and Z. Pańpuch),
  2. the pioneer research on the methodology of science and the applicability of logic to philosophy (Rev. S. Kamiński, J. Kalinowski, Rev. J. Iwanicki, A.B. Stępień, S. Majdański, Rev. J. Herbut, S. Kiczuk, and Rev. A. Bronk; this approach is now continued in the area of logic by P. Garbacz, M. Lechniak, B. Rej-Czernecka, Rev. M. Tkaczyk, and in the area of methodology by P. Kawalec, A. Lekka-Kowalik, M. Walczak, and R. Wierzchosławski),
  3. the formation of the school of medieval studies (especially at S. Swieżawski's seminar) and its development by Rev. M. Kurdziałek and M. Gogacz (until the latter's departure to the Academy of Catholic Theology in Warsaw). Medieval studies, history of modern philosophy and history of philosophy in Poland was continued by the disciples, S. Swieżawski and Rev. M. Kurdziałek (among others, J. Czerkawski, K. Wójcik, Rev. Abp S. Wielgus, Fr. I.E. Zieliński, Rev. M. Ciszewski, Rev. R.J. Weksler-Waszkinel, A. Kijewska, P. Gutowski, Rev. S. Janeczek, and also P. Gut, M. Podbielski, and M. Komsta. The majority of specialists in medieval philosophy in Poland come from Swieżawski's school. Historical and philosophical self-awareness is considerably supplemented by lectures and studies - together with a language course in Sanskrit - on Indian and Chinese philosophy. They have been conducted since the 1950s. First by Rev. F. Tokarz, then L. Cyboran, and now they are continued by M.S. Zięba and P. Sajdek);
  4. a continuation (at the chair of ethics and the John Paul II Institute) of anthropological and ethics studies initiated by Rev. K. Wojtyła (Rev. T. Styczeń, A. Rodziński, J. Gałkowski, Rev. A. Szostek, W. Chudy, S. B. Chyrowicz, Rev. A. Wierzbicki, K. Krajewski, and M. Czachorowski); K. Wojtyła formulated a certain version of personalism. From the angle of its methodology and content it has been a combination of the philosophy of being in the spirit of existential Thomism and the philosophy of the subject in the spirit of classical phenomenology;
  5. the research on the philosophy of religion and methodology of religion studies (from the point of view of metaphysics) - S. Zdybicka and her disciples: W. Dłubacz, Rev. P. Moskal; from the point of view of semiotics and methodology of the sciences: Rev. A. Bronk and Rev. J. Herbut);
  6. the establishment of a centre of phenomenological studies (a second centre outside Cracow), especially the philosophy of R. Ingarden (A.B. Stępień, S. Judycki, J. Wojtysiak, and A. Gut);
  7. studies on the philosophy of society, politics, and law are also developed (J. Kłos, K. Wroczyński, R. Wierzchosławski, and K. Stępień).

Graduates of the Philosophy Faculty are members of the Episcopate, university professors, and professors of the Polish Academy of the Sciences (Pol. PAN), numerous scholars of other universities, members of various committees and learned societies (also abroad), politicians, journalists, and editors; many of them assumed jobs and functions that are important from the social point of view.