Positivism in Poland

Positivism In Poland

Positivism in Poland

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Positivism in Poland was a socio-cultural movement that defined progressive thought in literature and other walks of life in partitioned Poland after the disastrous January 1863 Uprising against Imperial Russia, until the turn of the 20th century and the advent of the Young Poland movement.


In the aftermath of the 1863 Uprising, many Poles abandoned their hopes of regaining Poland's independence from Russia, Germany and Austro-Hungary by force of arms. Together with those hopes they – often reluctantly and only partially – set aside the style of the Romantic period.Czesław Miłosz, The History of Polish Literature, p. 283.

Polish "Positivism" drew its name from the Frenchman Auguste Comte's philosophy but much of its ideology also from the works of British scholars and scientists, including Herbert Spencer and John Stuart Mill. The Polish Positivists advocated the exercise of reason before emotion. They argued that independence, if it is to be regained, must be won gradually, by "building from the foundations" (creating a material infrastructure and educating the public) and through "organic work" that would enable Polish society to function as a fully integrated social organism (a concept borrowed from Herbert Spencer).Czesław Miłosz, The History of Polish Literature, pp. 283–84.

The leading Polish journalist, short-story writer and novelist Bolesław Prus...
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