- Krzysztof Dubiel for the Polish Book Institute
Born in 1964, Karłowicz is a philosopher, historian of ideas, essayist, and journalist, carrying on the major Polish tradition of the Polish school of the philosophy of civilization, in which cultural phenomena are described as particular forms of the universal conditio humana.
He is the author of three books, admired for their depth and insight in their approach to their subjects, and for their clear and sophisticated style that sacrifices no moral gravity. Every one of his books is an erudite tale of the conflicts that raged at the dawn of European civilization between the Ancient teachers and the old Church fathers, as well as an original philosophical treatise with the hallmarks of a personal meditation. Drawing reference to the concepts of ‘virtue’ and ‘sanctity’, the author observes the connection between the philosophical ideas of pre-Christian Greece and the religiousness of the early Medieval era; describing the biographies of wise men and martyrs, he analyses man’s universal stance toward the challenges he creates for himself in order to find his vocation. In opposition to the popular Hegelian, phenomenological tradition in Polish philosophy, or the existential, anthropological, and unabashedly ethical standpoint, Karłowicz’s project draws its inspiration from Latin and British sources, while remaining closely tied to Polish theological thought and the everyday religiousness of the Polish people.