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Józef Maria Bocheński (August 30, 1902 in Czuszów, Congress Poland, Russian Empire – February 8, 1995 in Fribourg, Switzerland) was a Polish Dominican, logician and philosopher.



After taking part in the 1920 campaign against Soviet Russia, he took up legal studies in Lwów, then studied economics in Poznań. Having received his doctorate in philosophy (he studied in Freiburg, 1928–31) and theology (Rome, 1931–34), he lectured in logic until 1940 at the Collegium Angelicum in Rome.

During World War II he served as chaplain to Polish forces during the 1939 invasion of Poland, was taken prisoner of war, escaped the Germans and reached Rome. He joined the Polish Army and served as chaplain first in France, then in England. He fought as a soldier in 1944 in the Italian campaign of the Polish II Corps at Monte Cassino.

In 1945 he received the chair in the history of twentieth-century philosophy at the University of Fribourg (of which he was rector in 1964-66); he founded and ran the Institute of Eastern Europe there, and published the journal Studies in Soviet Thought and a book series concerned with the foundations of Marxist philosophy (Sovietica).

Bocheński served as consultant to several governments: West Germany (under Konrad Adenauer), South Africa, the United States, Argentina, and Switzerland.

Before 1989 none of his works were published officially in Poland.


  • La logique de Théophraste (1947)
  • Europäische Philosophie der Gegenwart (1947)
  • Der sowjetrussische Dialektische Materialismus (1950)
  • Ancient formal logic (1951)
  • Die zeitgenössischen Denkmethoden (1954)
  • Die kommunistische Ideologie und die Würde, Freiheit und Gleichheit der Menschen im Sinne des Grundgesetzes für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland vom 23.5.1949 (1956)
  • Formale Logik (1956) translated in English as A history of formal logic (1961)
  • Der sowjetrussische dialektische Materialismus (Diamat) (1962)
  • The Logic of Religion (1965)
  • Was ist Autorität? (1974)
  • Marxismus-Leninismus. Wissenschaft oder Glaube (1973)
  • Sto zabobonów. Krótki filozoficzny słownik zabobonów ("One Hundred Superstitions. A Short Philosophical Dictionary of Superstitions", 1987).
  • The Road to Understanding. More than Dreamt of in Your Philosophy, ISBN 1886670064


See also



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