Roman Ingarden

Roman Ingarden

region = Western Philosophy
era = 20th-century philosophy
color = #B0C4DE

image_caption = Portrait of Roman Ingarden by Witkacy
name = Roman Ingarden
birth = February 5, 1893 (Kraków)
death = June 4, 1970 (Kraków, Poland)
school_tradition = Phenomenology
main_interests = Aesthetics, Epistemology, Humanity, Ontology
influences = Edmund Husserl, Immanuel Kant

Roman Witold Ingarden (February 5, 1893 – June 14, 1970), a Polish philosopher, working in the fields of phenomenology, ontology, and aesthetics. Before the second World War, Ingarden published his works mainly in German, and during World War II he switched to Polish, therefore his major works on ontology went largely unnoticed by the wider philosophical community.


Ingarden was born in Kraków, Austria-Hungary on February 5, 1893. He first studied mathematics and philosophy in Lwów under the tutelage of Kazimierz Twardowski, and in moved to Göttingen in to study philosophy under the teaching of Edmund Husserl. He was considered by Husserl as one of his best students, and accompanied Husserl to Freiburg, when in 1918 he submitted his doctoral dissertation with Husserl as director.cite web|url=
title=Roman Ingarden (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)||accessdate=2008-06-04

Ingarden returned to Poland for most of his academic career after achieveing his doctoral degree. He firstly taught mathematics, psychology and philosophy and worked on his Habilitationschrift, "Essentiale Frage", which was noticed by the English speaking philosophical community. Jan Kazimierz University gave Ingarden a place in Lviv and promoted to Professor in 1933. He became well known for his work on "The Literary Work of Art" during his professorship.

World War II in 1941-1944 halted his career, and as a result the Lwów university was closed. Ingarden secretly taught orphaned children mathematics and philosophy at this period of time. After the bombing of his house, he continued to work on his newest work, "The Controversy over the Existence of the World" at the same time.

Ingarden became a professor at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń in 1945 shortly after the war, but was banned in 1946 because of the Communist government moved to Jagiellonian University in Kraków, where he was offered a position. In 1949, however, he was banned from teaching due to his alleged idealism, also supposedly being an "enemy of materialism". In 1957 he was reappointed at Jagiellonian University after the ban had finished where he went on to teach, write and publish further. Ingarden died on June 14, 1970 as a result of a cerebral hemorrhago.


Ingarden was a realist phenomenologist, but did not accept Husserl's transcendental idealism. His training was phenomenological, nonetheless his work as a whole was directed rather towards ontology. That is why Ingarden is one of the most renowned phenomenological ontologists, as he strove to describe the ontological structure and state of being of various objects based on the essential features of any experience that could provide such knowledge.

The best known works of Ingarden, and the only ones known to most English speaking readers, concern aesthetics and literature. The exclusive focus on Ingarden's work in aesthetics is to some extent unfortunate and misleading about his overall philosophical standpoint.

Main works in German

* "Intuition und Intellekt bei Henri Bergson", Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1921
* "Essentiale Fragen. Ein Beitrag zum Problem des Wesens", Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1925
* "Das literarische Kunstwerk. Eine Untersuchung aus dem Grenzgebiet der Ontologie, Logik und Literaturwissenschaft", Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1931
* "Untersuchungen zur Ontologie der Kunst: Musikwerk. Bild. Architektur. Film", Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1962
* "Der Streit um die Existenz der Welt", Bd. I, II/I, II/2. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1964
* "Vom Erkennen des literarischen Kunstwerks", Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1968
* "Erlebnis, Kunstwerk und Wert. Vorträge zur Ästhetik 1937-1967", Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1969
* "Über die Verantwortung. Ihre ontischen Fundamente", Stuttgart: Reclam, 1970
* "Über die kausale Struktur der realen Welt. Der Streit um die Existenz der Welt, Band III", Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1974

Main works in Polish

* "O poznawaniu dzieła literackiego" (The Cognition of the Literary Work of Art), Ossolineum, Lwów: 1937
* "O budowie obrazu. Szkic z teorii sztuki" (On the Structure of Paintings: A Sketch of the Theory of Art)", Rozprawy Wydziału Filozoficznego PAU Vol. LXVII, No.2, Kraków, 1946
* "O dziele architektury" (On Architectural Works), Nauka i Sztuka, Vol. II, 1946, No. 1, pp. 3-26 and No. 2, pp. 26-51
* "Spór o istnienie Świata" (Controversy over the Existence of the World), PAU, Vol. I, Kraków: 1947, Vol. II, Kraków, 1948
* "Szkice z filozofii literatury" (Sketches on the Philosophy of Literature), Vol. 1, Spółdzielnia wydawnicza "Polonista," Łódz, 1947
* "Elementy dzieła muzycznego" (The Elements of Musical Works), Sprawozdania Towarzystwa Naukowego w Toruniu, Vol. IX, 1955, Nos. 1-4, pp. 82-84
* "Studia z estetyki" (Studies in Aesthetics), PWN, Vol. I Warszawa, 1957, Vol. II, Warszawa, 1958
* "O dziele literackim" (On Literary Works). PWN, Warszawa, 1960
* "Przeżycie - dzieło - wartość" (Experience - Work of Art - Value). WL, Kraków, 1966
* "Studia z estetyki" Tom III (Studies in Aesthetics, Vol. III), PWN, Warszawa, 1970
* "U podstaw teorii poznania" (At the Foundations of the Theory of Knowledge), PWN, Warszawa, 1971
* "Książeczka o człowieku" (Little Book About Man), Wydawnictwo Literackie, Kraków, 1972.
* "Utwór muzyczny i sprawa jego tożsamości" (The Work of Music and the Problem of Its Identity), Wydawnictwo, Warszawa, 1966.

Main works translated into English

* "The Cognition of the Literary Work of Art", Translated by Ruth Ann Crowley and Kenneth R. Olson. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1973
* "The Literary Work of Art", Translated by George G. Grabowicz. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1973
* "Letter to Husserl about the VI [Logical] Investigation and ‘Idealism’ In Tymieniecka", 1976
* "Man and Value", Translated by Arthur Szylewicz. München: Philosophia Verlag, 1983
* "On the Motives which led Edmund Husserl to Transcendental Idealism", Translated by Arnor Hannibalsson. The Hague: 1976
* "The Ontology of the Work of Art", Translated by Raymond Meyer with John T. Goldthwait. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1989
* "Selected Papers in Aesthetics", Ed. by Peter J. McCormick, München: Philosophia Verlag,1985
* "Time and Modes of Being", translated (from parts of Der Streit) by Helen R. Michejda. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, 1964.

ee also

* History of philosophy in Poland

Suggested readings

* J. Mitscherling "Roman Ingarden's Ontology and Aesthetics", Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1997


External links

* [ The Roman Ingarden Philosophical Research Centre]
* [ Ingarden at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
* [ Extended Bibliography of Ingarden's Works]
* [ Polish Philosophy Page: Roman Ingarden]
* [ Ontology - A resource guide for philosophers: Ingarden ]

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