Theory and History of Ontology

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Selected Bibliography on Kotarbinski's Reism and Semantical Concretism


N.B. Works avalaible only in Polish are not enclosed.

  1. Kotarbinski, Tadeusz. 1931. "Le Réalisme Radical." In Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Philosophy, Held at Oxford, England, September 1-6, 1930, edited by Ryle, Gilbert, 488-500. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  2. ———. 1935. "The Development of the Main Problem in the Methodology of Francis Bacon." Studia Philosophica no. 1:107-117.

  3. ———. 1955. "The Fundamental Ideas of Pansomatism." Mind no. 64:488-500.

    Originally published in Polish in 1935.

  4. ———. 1956. "La Logique En Pologne." Études Philosophiques no. 11:231-241.

    Reprinted in. Raymond Klibansky (ed.) - Philosophy in the Mid-Century. A survey - Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 1958 pp. 44-52.

  5. ———. 1958. "Jan Lukasiewicz's Works on the History of Logic." Studia Logica no. 8:57-62.

  6. ———. 1960. "The Concept of Action." Journal of Philosophy no. 57:215-221.

  7. ———. 1961. "The Property of a Good Plan." Methodos no. 13:189-201.

  8. ———. 1961. "Postulates for Economic Modes of Action." Methodos no. 13:175-188.

  9. ———. 1961. "The Aspiration of Praxologists." Methodos no. 13:163-174.

  10. ———. 1964. Leçons Sur L'histoire De La Logique. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    Original Polish edition 1957.

    Translated by Anna Posner and with an introduction by René Poirier

  11. ———. 1965. Praxiology. An Introduction to the Sciences of Efficient Action. New York: Pergamon Press.

    Originally published in Polish in 1955.

    Translated by Olgierd Wojtasiewicz.

  12. ———. 1966. Gnosiology. The Scientific Approach to the Theory of Knowledge. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

    Original Polish edition 1929; second revised edition 1961.

    Translated from the Polish by Olgierd Wojtasiewicz; translation edited by G. Bidwell and C. Pinder

  13. ———. 1966. "Franz Brentano Comme Réiste." Revue Internationale de la Philosophie no. 78:459-476.

    English translation in: Linda Mc Alister (ed.) - The philosophy f Franz Brentano - London, Duckworth, 1976, pp. 194-203.

  14. ———. 1968. "Reism: Issues and Prospects." Logique et Analyse no. 11:441-458.

  15. ———. 1968. "La Philosophie De La Technique De Dupréel." Revue Internationale de la Philosophie no. 22:156-166.

  16. ———. 1968. "The Problem of the Existence of the Future." Polish Review no. 13:7-22.

    Originally published in Polish in 1913.

  17. ———. 1968. "La Justification Active." Logique et Analyse no. 41-42:273-279.

  18. ———. 1968. "L'evolution De La Praxéologie En Pologne." In Philosophy of Science, edited by Klibansky, Raymond, 438-450. Firenze: La Nuova Italia.

    Contemporary philosophy. A new survey - vol. II

  19. ———. 1970. "The Problem of the Rationality of Reasonings Based on Imperative Sentences." Studia Filozoficzne no. 4:131-137.

  20. ———. 1970. "Les Formes Positives Et Négatives De La Cooperation." Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale no. 75:316-325.

  21. ———. 1971. "Ethical Evaluation." International Philosophical Quarterly no. 11:335-340.

  22. ———. 1971. "The Methodology of Practical Skills: Concepts and Issues." Metaphilosophy no. 2:148-171.

  23. ———. 1973. "Notions and Problems of General Methodology and the Methodology of Practical Sciences." Dialectics and Humanism:157-164.

  24. ———. 1974. "Determinism and Fatalism in Face of Activity." Dialectics and Humanism:3-11.

  25. ———. 1975. "Sources of General Problems Concerning the Efficiency of Actions." Dialectics and Humanism:5-15.

  26. ———. 1983. "The General Concept of Plan." Dialectics and Humanism:15-32.

  27. ———. 1990. "Philosophical Self-Portrait." In Kotarbinski. Logic,Semantics and Pntology, edited by Wolenski, Jan, 1-6. Dordrecht: Kluwer.


  1. Coniglione, Francesco. 2000. "Kotarbin'ski's Reism and the Vienna Circle." Axiomathes no. 11:37-69.

  2. Gasparski, Wojciech. 1993. "A Philosophy of Practicality: A Treatise on the Philosophy of Tadeusz Kotarbinski." Acta Philosophica Fennica no. 53:11-114.

    "This monograph answers the question concerning the philosophical outlook and the intellectual heritage of the Polish thinker Tadeusz Kotarbinski.Kotarbinski called his own system praxiology. This book has also a wider aim, namely, to describe the "phenomenon of Tadeusz Kotarbinski in the Polish philosophy of the twentieth century". The reader can see how the whole intellectual period full of new methodological and philosophical ideas emerges and changes due to the influence of Kotarbinski during those eighty years that have passed since the publication of his first, seminal essays. The Polish methodology of science has been wonderfully fruitful and the same can be said of the methodology of practical endeavors, as Professor Gasparski shows in this book."

  3. Hiz, Henry. 1954. "Kotarbinski's Praxeology." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research no. 15:238-243.

    "Kotarbinski developed a general theory of action. It abstracts from moral, esthetic and other qualities of action and studies only the efficacity. He provides an analysis of what it means to do something, to be an agent, a perpetrator. It means that his voluntary act is a necessary condition for something to occur. An analysis of negligence, refraining from doing something, collective action and a variety of the methods of efficacity is given."

  4. Lejewski, Czeslaw. 1979. "On the Dramatic Stage in the Development of Kotarbisnki's Pansomatism." In Ontologie Und Logik. Ontology and Logic., 197-214. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.

    Proceedings of an International Colloquium (Salzburg, 21-24 September 1976).

    Discussion pp. 215-218.

  5. Niiniluoto, Ilkka. 2002. "Kotarbinski as a Scientific Realist." Erkenntnis no. 56:63-82.

    "Tadeusz Kotarbinski is widely recognized as a major philosopher of the Lvov-Warsaw school. His reism, which is a contribution to semantics and ontology, is still discussed and debated, and his most original creation, praxiology, has grown into an entire research field. However, Kotarbinski's philosophy of science has not received much attention by later commentators. This paper attempts to correct this situation by considering the hypothesis that Kotarbinski succeeded already in 1929 in formulating a position that can be regarded as an early version of scientific realism. Unlike most other "scientific philosophers'' before the mid-thirties, he was able to combine ontological realism (by defending a form of physicalism and nominalism) and semantical realism (by defending the classical correspondence theory of truth). He was also a critical epistemological realist. Further, in spite of the instrumentalist flavour of his reductionist programme in eliminating terms apparently referring to abstract entities, Kotarbinski accepted theories as statements with truth values and theoretical entities as long as they can be understood as physical bodies."

  6. Poli, Roberto. 1993. "The Dispute over Reism: Kotarbinski - Ajdukiewicz - Brentano." In Polish Scientific Philosophy. The Lvov-Warsaw School, edited by Coniglione, Francesco, Poli, Roberto and Wolenski, Jan, 339-354. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

    "Kotarbinski's ontology (called reism) maintains that there are only things. According to this theory, all genuine names refer to things and all the terms that refer to non-things (properties, qualities, events, etc.) are pseudo-names or onomatoids. After the criticisms of Ajdukiewicz, reism turned into a semantic theory stating that onomatoids should be used only in paraphrasable by other expressions containing only terms. I shall try to restate the ontological reading of reism resorting to the theory of substance and accident advanced by Brentano in his last philosophical analysis."

  7. Simons, Peter M. 1993. "Nominalism in Poland." In Polish Scientific Philosophy, edited by Coniglione, Francesco, Poli, Roberto and Wolenski, Jan, 207-231. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

    "The principal defenders of nominalism in Poland were Lesniewski and Kotarbinski. Several senses of nominalism' are distinguished. Lesniewski attacked Twardowski's theory of general objects, rejected set theory, and proposed an ontologically neutral, nominalistically acceptable logic. I examine how this neutrality is to be attained despite higher-order quantificationKotarbinski denied that there is anything except bodies (reism) and attempted to eliminate statements apparently about other things, but reism is inadequate for explaining true predications. Their student Tarski was also a nominalist, but he did not argue for his views in print."

  8. Sinisi, Vito. 1964. "Kotarbinski's Theory of Genuine Names." Theoria no. 30:80-95.

  9. ———. 1965. "Kotarbinski' Theory of Pseudo-Names." Theoria no. 31:218-241.

  10. ———. 1967. "A Few Comments on a Few Comments on Concretism." Theoria no. 33:72-77.

  11. ———. 1983. "The Development of Ontology." Topoi no. 2:53-61.

  12. Skolimowski, Henryk. 1966. "A Few Comments on Concretism." Theoria no. 32:75-78.

  13. Smith, Barry. 1994. "Tadeusz Kotarbinski. On Things and Their Phases." In Austrian Philosophy. The Legacy of Franz Brentano, 201-254. Chicago: Open Court.

  14. ———. 2006. "On the Phases of Reism." In Actions, Products, and Things, edited by Chrudzimski, Arkadiusz and Lukasiewicz, Dariusz, 121-182. Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag.

  15. Szaniawski, Klemens. 1977. "Philosophy of the Concrete." Dialectics and Humanism no. 4:67-72.

    "This is a brief appreciation of the philosophical ideas of Tadeusz Kotarbinski, written on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday. The discussion is limited to his doctrine of Reism, asserting the existence of things only. The evolution of Reism is sketched and some difficulties concerning its tenets are pointed out. Finally, the author stresses the role of Kotarbinski's teaching in the development of philosophy in Poland."

  16. ———. 1984. "Philosophical Ideas of Tadeusz Kotarbinski." Reports on Philosophy no. 8:25-32.

  17. Wolenski, Jan. 1986. "Reism and Lesniewski's Ontology." History and Philosophy of Logic no. 7:167-176.

    "This paper examines relations between Reism, the metaphysical theory invented by Tadeusz Kotarbinski, and Lesniewski's calculus of names. It is shown that Kotarbinski's interpretation of common nouns as genuine names, i.e., names of things is essentially based on Lesniewski's logical ideas. It is pointed out that Lesniewskian semantics offers better prospects for Nominalism than does semantics of the standard first-order predicate calculus."

  18. ———, ed. 1990. Kotarbinski: Logic, Semantics and Ontology. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

    Preface VII; Notes on Contributors IX; Tadeusz Kotarbinski: Philosophical self-portrait 1; Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz: Review-article: T. Kotarbinski's Elements of the Theory of Knowledge, Formal Logic and Methodology of the Sciences 7; Alfred Gawronski: Psychologism and the principle of relevance in semantics 23; Peter Geach: Names in Kotarbinski's Elementy 31; Andrzej Grzegorczyk: Consistent reism 39; Henryk Hiz: A note about reism 47; Janina Kotarbinska: Puzzles of existence 53; Czeslaw Lejewski: On the dramatic stage in the development of Kotarbinski's pansomatism 69; Marian Przelecki: Semantic reasons for ontological statements: the argumentation of a reist 85; Tadeusz Pszczolowski: Philosophical and methodological foundations of Kotarbinski's praxiology 97; Vito F Sinisi: Kotarbinski's theory of genuine names 107; Vito F Sinisi: Kotarbinski's theory of pseudo-names 119; Barry Smith: On the phases of reism 137; Klemens Szaniawski: Philosophy of the concrete 185; Jan Wolenski: Kotarbinski, many-valued logic, and truth 191; Boguslaw Wolniewicz: Concerning reism 199; Ewa Zarnecka-Bialy: The voice of the past in Kotarbinski's writings 205; References 213; Index of names: 225; Index of subjects 229.

  19. ———. 1990. "Tadeusz Kotarbinski and the Lvov Warsaw School." Dialectics and Humanism no. 17:14-24.

    "This paper is intended to show the place of Kotarbinski's philosophy in the Lvov-Warsaw School and his influence on the development of this movement in Polish philosophy. The author describes links of Kotarbinski's views with ideas developed by other outstanding members of the Lvov-Warsaw School, particularly Twardowski and Lesniewski. Moreover, Kotarbinski's conception of so called small philosophy was a typical exposition of general metaphilosophical views of the Lvov-Warsaw School."

  20. ———. 1996. "Reism in the Brentanist Tradition." In The School of Franz Brentano, edited by Albertazzi, Liliana, Libardi, Massimo and Poli, Roberto, 357-376. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

  21. ———. 2001. "Tadeusz Kotarbinski - Reism and Science." In Polish Philosophers of Science and Nature in the 20th Century, edited by Krajewski, Wladyslaw, 47-51. Amsterdam: Rodopi.


On the website "Theory and History of Ontology" (

Tadeusz Kotarbinski from Ontological Reism to Semantical Concretism