This is a transcript published in Analecta Cracoviensia 5/6 (1973-4) of a talk by Antoni Stępień about the then Karol Wojtyła’s Acting Person (as it’s known in its, apparently dodgy, English translation).  I didn’t note the occasion on which it was given, unfortunately.  I think some get-together about Person and Act.  Rough translation done by me as an exercise, am sticking it here as the best place not to lose it until I organize my work better :), and someone might be interested. Anyone who is and can fill me on the anglosphere phenomenolololological terminology – I will buy you several beers.


The book Person and Act  – as we read on p22 – is an attempt to combine two philosophies, the philosophy of being and that of consciousness. It is a meeting ground – a meeting neither accidental nor superficial [lit. external] – of Thomism and phenomenology.  Contrary to the opinion of professor Kalinowski quoted here, I think it is in fact a book of the philosophy of man. The kind of philosophy it presents can,  I would say, be called Thomisizing phenomenology. Why?

We are dealing with a certain description of what is immediately given, a description which in its basic shape does not  … go beyond the meaning of that which is immediately given. Nonetheless, in certain formulations this description is filled out with theory taken from elsewhere. On pp 40, 52, and 62, there are formulations that go beyond phenomenological description. This further step is taken with reference to a certain theory, the theory of Thomistic metaphysics. This is done in such a way that basically, it is phenomenology, though conducted along the lines of a certain metaphysics, and what is more, drawing, in some formulations, on certain conceptual schemes taken from Thomistic metaphysics, though this is not always indicated. For this reason I would define this book as being one of Thomisizing phenomenology.


I sat at the desk at which a certain ks. dr hab. Karol Wojtyła lectured:


I sat at the desk at which the late great fr Mieczysław Krąpiec OP died two years ago, in the middle of an article:

And I met a man who built spaceships!  But I have no photo of him.  Here’s his wife lecturing in the room in which fr Krąpiec did most of his teaching:

I stayed first a week with the parents and teenage sister of Pianticella, some ten miles to the south of Lublin; glorious countryside, a jacuzzi bath and sandwiches made for me every morning by her mum. The second week I stayed with the graduate student who was partly responsible for organizing the lecture series I was attending – he and his wife have a flat next to the bus stop “Majdanek Pomnik”. Easily identified.  They were most hospitable, and we sat up late a couple of times talking about everything and nothing.  The week finished with three-course lunch cooked by them for the Mrs Guest Lecturer and Mr Spaceships, when Mrs Host said “why  keep dragging them around restaurants?” What with the lectures themselves, Gilson Society conferences, meeting my employers, having my French pronounciation angst cured, new shoes, new books, old books, … I made a good decision when I decided to go.