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Twardowski, Kazimierz

Marek Rosiak

Pages 585 - 588

The Polish philosopher Kazimierz Twardowski (1866-1938) was the first who proposed a fully developed theory of parts and wholes. He studied philosophy under Franz Brentano in Vienna and founded the Lvov-Warsaw Philosophical School in Poland in 1895. His main philosophical work is the influential study Zur Lehre vom Inhalt und Gegenstand der Vorstellungen [On the Doctrine of Content and Object of Representations] (1894). This study contains in chapters 9-11 Twardowski’s part-whole theory, which, however, has various weaknesses and deficiencies. It was formulated with the aim of analysing the relation between an object and the content of a representation and distinguishes many different kinds of parts, but not all distinctions are supplied with intuitive examples. Even though it leaves many questions unanswered, it can serve as a rich source of inspiration rather than as a fully furbished theoretical tool.

1Department of Logic, University of Lodz

1 Betti, A., (2010), “Kazimierz Twardowski”, in Zalta E. N. (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition),

2 Cavallin, J., (1997), Husserl, Twardowski and Psychologism. Phaenomenologica 142, Dordrecht: Kluwer.

3 Poli, R., (1996), “Kazimierz Twardowski 1866-1938”, in Albertazzi L.; Libardi M.; Poli R. (eds.), The School of Franz Brentano, Nijhof International Philosophy Series, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 207-232

4 Rosiak, M., (1998), “Twardowski and Husserl on Wholes and Parts”, in Kijania-Placek K. and Wolenski J., eds, The Lvov-Warsaw School and Contemporary Philosophy, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 85-100.

5 Twardowski, K., (1894), Zur Lehre vom Inhalt und Gegenstand der Vorstellungen - Eine psychologische Untersuchung, Wien (reprinted by Philosophia Verlag, München-Wien, 1982). Eng. transl. On the Content and Object of Presentations (transl. R. Grossmann), The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1977.


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