filozofia społeczna; filozofia polityki; katolicka filozofia społeczna; filozofia w Polsce
Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
The main subject of the interests of the author of this article is the attitude of Catholic social
thinkers in Poland to freedom, after the political breakthrough of 1989. At that moment it turned
out that almost everyone considered themselves liberal, and most of Catholic social thinkers were
supposed to be no exception from the majority. The events of 1989 generated a heated discussion.
As a result, in the 1990s Poland faced a discussion about the place of the Catholic Church in new
social and political reality and about the role occupied by the church in the process of changes.
What came out was a difference of opinion between the church and its environment as well as
between opponents of the church and its supporters.
In this study the author focuses his attention on some of the discussed problems: the meaning
of freedom, its limits and types, attitudes to free market, liberalism, democracy and politics. After
1989 these issues set at variance Catholic social philosophers in Poland. Diversity in attitudes
towards the limits of freedom seems to be of great importance. For some of the thinkers indicating
the limits of freedom means the justification of the objection against any attempt of establishing
new areas of freedom. For others the existence of such limits is no obstacle to looking for new
forms and areas of freedom since in their opinion reality is not utterly determined. Because of this
diversity in approaches to the limits of freedom, differences in the understanding of freedom in
Catholic social philosophy are not slight and subtle, although all of the thinkers assume the same
set of primal beliefs.
In the book the author proposes a thesis that in statements about freedom given by people
connected with the Catholic church in Poland one can find not only practical problems which
strongly affected popular opinion of that time (abortion, teaching religion) but also philosophical
ones concerned with establishing the basis for thinking about freedom. What is more, it
appeared that in the 1990s in Catholic social philosophy in Poland freedom seems to be a problem
- it is an object at issue, it is a question to which one should find a solution. As far as the
answers for the questions about ways of understanding freedom are concerned, there are many
ways of comprehending issues connected with freedom. Among the attitudes to freedom we can
find traditional ones, but also ones expressing readiness for accepting some other conceptions and
for including them in the Catholic perception of freedom.