Analiza i Egzystencja (Jan 2019)

O etyce niezależnej Tadeusza Kotarbińskiego (On Independent Ethics of Tadeusz Kotarbiński)

  • Halina Šimo

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 46


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The aim of the article is to analyze the ethical system of Tadeusz Kotarbiński. In the reporting part of the article, the main theses of the system and additional remarks (which are present in Kotarbiński’s writings, but rarely cited in the studies on the Kotarbiński concept) are presented. I consider normative statements of the system (ethics of a reliable guardian), as well as metaethical assumptions (independent ethics). In the evaluative part of the paper, Kotarbiński’s normative proposal is evaluated as a good proposition of a secular counterpart of Christian ethics in its minimal version. The proposition is realistic and useful for those above all who are reluctant towards religious discourse. Analyzing the concept of independence of ethics, I emphasize the impact of reism on Kotarbiński’s ethical views, the inadequacy of his evaluation of religiosity and the overestimation of the role of empiricism in ethical cognition. I also discuss the educational dimension of the postulate of independence.