Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz

(b. 12 December 1890, Tarnopol; d. 12 April 1963, Warsaw)

Ajdukiewicz studied philosophy, mathematics and physics at the University of Lviv (Lwów) in 1908–1913, gaining a doctorate in philosophy in 1912 (supervised by Kazimierz Twardowski). In the 1913/14 academic year he took supplementary studies in Göttingen: in philosophy under Edmund Husserl, and in mathematics under David Hilbert. In fighting around Lwów during the Polish–Ukrainian War (1919) he commanded one of two Polish armoured trains. He gained his habilitation degree in 1922 at the University of Warsaw. He worked at Jan Kazimierz University in Lwów (1922–1925, as docent), at the University of Warsaw (1925–1928, as associate professor), and again at Jan Kazimierz University (1928–1941, as full professor). After the Second World War he received invitations to work at three universities – in Kraków, Warsaw and Poznań – and he chose the last of these. There he headed the Department of Theory and Methodology of Science in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, which in 1951 became the Department of Logic (now the Department of Mathematical Logic) in the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry (formed in the same year). He led that department

until 1955, when he moved to the University of Warsaw. In addition, in 1948–1952, during one of the most difficult periods in Poland’s post-war history, he served as Poznań University’s rector. He retired in 1961. Ajdukiewicz is among the leading representatives of the Lwów–Warsaw school, and had a significant influence on the development of logic and philosophy, not only in Poland. When he came to Poznań he already enjoyed international renown owing to his publications from the interwar period. He worked in three main areas of logic: formal logic, logical semiotics (a name that he apparently invented and propagated), and methodology.

Ajdukiewicz attached very great importance to questions relating to the teaching of logic. He wrote several excellent textbooks in logic and philosophy (including Issues and Directions in Philosophy and An Outline of Logic, which he wrote during his time in Poznań), took part in discussions on logic teaching, and organized meetings and wrote articles on that subject. During his ten years as departmental head, Ajdukiewicz created an important centre of research in logic and philosophy at the university in Poznań. He was a corresponding member of the Polish Academy of Learning (1947) and a full member of the Polish Academy of Sciences (1952). He was the founding editor of the journal Studia Logica, first published in Poznań in 1953, and still one of the most important journals in the field of logic worldwide. He also jointly edited the journal Studia Philosophica together with Roman Ingarden and Kazimierz Twardowski (1935–1951). Ajdukiewicz was a universally respected scholar who enjoyed great authority.

He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Clermont-Ferrand (France). He published around 200 works in total, including 17 books. He also supervised eight successful doctoral students.

Roman Murawski

R. Murawski, “Ajdukiewicz Kazimierz” in: Luminarze nauki Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 1919–2019, ed. Z. Pilarczyk, Wyd. Nauk. UAM, Poznań 2019, 9–12. https://press.amu.edu.pl/pl/luminarze-nauki-uniwersytetu-poznanskiego-w-latach-19192019-5250.html
L. Maligranda, W. Wnuk, 100 lat matematyki na uniwersytecie w Poznaniu 1919–2019, Wyd. Nauk. UAM, Poznań 2021, 368–369.
J. Woleński, Filozoficzna szkoła lwowsko-warszawska, PWN, Warsaw 1985.
R. Murawski, Filozofia matematyki i logiki w Polsce międzywojennej, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika, Toruń 2012.
R. Murawski, Logika na uniwersytecie w Poznaniu, Nauka Polska. Jej Potrzeby Organizacja i Rozwój XXVIII (LIII) (2019), 19–35.