Current research

Research Interests

Press journalism: Journalism and Media Theory, Ethics and the Media, Philosophy of Information, Media-Business-Politics Interaction, Modern Tools of Propaganda, Media and Power — international affairs & science and technology

International relations: USA, transatlantic relations, Great Britain, religions  (European Islam, Christianity, Buddhism), European migration and demography, risk management, cross-cultural solidarity, IR theories: postmodernism, neomedievalism, constructivism.

Philosophy: (1) philosophy of natural sciences, game theory and network theory in the social sciences, complexity theory, (2) philosophy of history & civilization theory, big history evolution studies, postmodernism, comparative religions  (European Islam, Christianity, Buddhism)

PhD STUDIES IN PHILOSOPHY

From Arnold Toynbee to Ian Morris: Empirical Philosophy of History as an Emerging Trend in Theoretical Approach to Civilization.


In my PhD I study how philosophy of history becomes more and more “scientific” through time in order to coin a label “empirical historiosophy” that denotes a new, emerging trend in the academic field called theory of civilization. 

In the past philosophers wanted to prove their hypotheses by mere speculative effort. They scrutinized society and historical processes and postulated regularities of civilizational development. However, there were multitude of counter-examples to every single regularity they postulated. As a result they frequently got confused with their findings.  

No one is actually to be blamed for this – history is abundant in all sorts of data and single brain can hardly harness this abundance. Yet with the advent of computers we are able to extend traceable reasoning. A single brain of a philosopher or a social scientist can extend the boundaries of thought by coupling with the ever rising capacity of external memories and plugging into the virtual circuits  available thanks to information sciences.

What does this mean for the humanities? First of all – that gradually more statements of social sciences become testable. Assumptions can be checked by the reference to statistical megatrends and scrutinized with the help of computer simulations. In the past, British historian Arnold Toynbee claimed that there are some repeatable causal chains to be noted in the history of societies, yet he got lost in the multitude of counterexamples that in fact undermined his claims.  Joseph Tainter became more empirical (“Collapse of complex societies”) with his endavour to categorize civilizations in terms of the measurable and empirically verifiable growing pace of complexity. For  Ian Morris, the author of a trend setting  “Why the West rules?” (2010) philosophy of history may become a science understood as an empirical undertaking – the regularities and societal qualities can be ordered, analyzed and measured with the help of innovatie indices and tools, which can be created thanks to advancements in science and technology. In my PhD I call this new approach to philosophy of history  empirical historiosophy – a philosophy which strengthens its conclusions through statistical analysis, simulation and heuristics.

Thanks to these tools such phenomena as power, solidarity, cultural affinity or  identity might be definable and measurable, which would allow to draw some philosophical conclusions relevant for the societies, Europe included.  

As analytical potential of historiosophy rises, new syntheses are possible. Thus, empirical historiosophy as  a discipline may have many accomplishments ahead.

Grand narratives are about to strike back.


Previous theses/works:

1. The Conversion Game: Towards Game Theoretic Modelling of Early Christianity (MSc – EN) (distinction), preparing for publication.

The game theoretic modelling of the competition between different branches of early Christianity in Netlogo environment. The strategies available to different branches of Christianiaty were linked to their doctrinal tenets.  The model brings us closer to understand why some religions outnumber other.

My TEDx talk called “Simulator of Christianity” covers some of the issues of the thesis (English subtitles, lectured in Polish).


2. The Advent of New Proletariat: the Internal Proletariat in Hellenic and Western Civilizations according to Arnold Toynbee’s “Study of History” (MSc – PL) (distinction) (published in Polish by Centre for Political Thought in 2012)

A review of the book is now available in Polish daily “Rzeczpospolita”. It seems that some categories used to study social dynamics of the great sociopolitical systems of the past might be useful in describing what is going on in terms of systems of beliefs and social trends in modern European Union.  It is argued that the notion of “internal proletariat” – a social group that technically belongs to a given civilization but in fact despises or ignores some of its core values might be an interesting point of departure to study EU with its boiling cauldron of religions.


3. New Middle Ages – Towards Network Theory of Neo-Medievalism

The essay, published first in Polish in Pressje Magazine as a cover story (“Witajcie w nowym średniowieczu”) took the form of a long article with tables that tries to pave the way for a new theory of medievalism. I call this theory a “network theory” because of the importance of the sociology of networks in understanding my approach. The essay analyzes many hitherto known “medievalisms” to create a new, synthetic “Network Neo-Medievalism”. It does so by identifying “neomedieval” phenomena on technical, political, economic, cultural, social and demographic levels. There is an English summary of the essay available (prepared for Pulaski Foundation). The summary covers main  findings of the original publication.

Both versions of the essay are available here.


4. Dostoyevsky Extended: Brave New World and the Debate on Science and Society in the XXth century inter-war Britain (MA – EN) (fragments published in the form of an article)

Dostoyevski’s “fear of a table”, uttered in the “Notes from the Underground” was an idea according to which human behaviour could be – and will be –  controlled with the help of scientific knowledge. This fear gets contextualized and embedded into a magnificent vision in Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”.  The pragmatically demonic Grand Inquisitor reappears in Huxley’s mind as the World Controller. Apart from the influence of Dostoyevski, this detailed study of Huxley’s technological inspirations reveals  the links to English intellectual elite (e.g. Bertrand Russell or G.B.S. Haldane) and Marxists.


5. Ortega y Gasset – “The Revolt of the Masses” in the Context of Ortega’s Philosophy of History (BA – PL) (distinction) (an extract published in Polish Kwartalnik Filozoficzny)

The essay reconstructs three philosophical crises in the European thought according to Ortega that can be ultimately depicted as a suggestive sinusoid of social attitudes operating throughout history of Western Civilization between the two boundary lines of the primary “belief”. The belief is in fact a trust in first data humans have to adopt before they start to think philosophically: priority of object or subject. According to Ortega, the trend-setting points of Western history were the beliefs advocated by the generations of early Christianity and later the beliefs voiced by the generation of Descartes. The advent of postmodernity might be read as a prelude to a new trend-setting synthesis.

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