Organon F

Volume 30, May 2023, Issue 2, Pages 137–147

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Discussion Note | Special issue on Author Meets Critics Symposium: Discussion on The Relevance of Models

On Historical Context of Leszek Nowak’s Idealizational Conception of Science

Rafał Paweł Wierzchosławski


The famous saying Habent sua fata libeli, can (at least sometimes) also apply to (philosophical) ideas, especially the most abstract ones. As it seems, the invocation of this maxim may also have some application in interpreting the concept of idealization of the concept of science, for the understanding of which it is useful to pay attention to the historical, social and political context. I argue that the analytical Marxism of the Poznan School of the 1970s and 1980s was a philosophical reflection of certain modernization processes of the real socialist system (the managerial revolution and the technocratic modernization of the Gierek era), which was an attempt to “escape forward” from the dysfunctional “manual control” of the system during the period of minor stabilization of the 1960s. At the same time, this period ended the ideological (quasi-religious) functions of Marxist philosophy (March 1968) by introducing an expert dimension that emphasized the use (adaptation) of contemporary currents of thought present in the thought of Western countries. The idealizing interpretation of Marx as an insightful methodologist, whose legacy makes it possible to overcome methodological dilemmas in modern philosophy of science, was also aimed at finding such an aspect (idealizing models) that made it possible to defend against factual charges directed against the Marxist system in the social sciences (apologetic function). A refined conceptual scheme was supposed to give the nimbus of being scientific (logical analysis). However, the sophistication of the late scholasticism of analytical Marxism did not save this construction in its empirical verification (the problem of predicting social phenomena) and led the author to create a non-Marxist Historical Materialism as a separate theory, which was to focus on the structural-functional analysis of the historical process, which involved putting aside the study of idealization “to the side.”


Idealization; Leszek Nowak; modernization; non-Marxian historical materialism; social systems; Poznań School of Methodology.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Rafał Paweł Wierzchosławski


Adam Mickiewicz University


Liberal Arts and Sciences, Collegium Historicum, Adam Mickiewicz University, ul. Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 7, 61-614 Poznań, Poland


About this article


24 April 2022


1 July 2022


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Wierzchosławski, R. P. (2023). On Historical Context of Leszek Nowak’s Idealizational Conception of Science. Organon F30(2), 137–147.


Wierzchosławski, Rafał Paweł. 2023. "On Historical Context of Leszek Nowak’s Idealizational Conception of Science." Organon F 30 (2): 137–147.


Wierzchosławski, R. P. (2023). On Historical Context of Leszek Nowak’s Idealizational Conception of Science. Organon F, 30(2), pp. 137–147.

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© Rafał Paweł Wierzchosławski

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