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Józef Stanisław Tischner (March 12, 1931 – June 28, 2000) was an eminent Polish priest and philosopher. The first chaplain of the trade union, "Solidarity" (Polish Solidarność), he was an exceptional moral authority and one of the most admired figures in Poland, both during and after the anti-communist uprising.

Tischner was born in Stary Sącz to a Góral family and grew up in the village Łopuszna in the south east of Poland. He studied at Jagiellonian University in Kraków. In the 1970s he became an important writer of the opposition movement against the communist dictatorship of the People's Republic of Poland. In 1980s he was considered the semi-official chaplain of the Solidarity movement, and was praised by Pope John Paul II.

After the fall of communism in 1989, he continued preaching the importance of ethics in the new capitalist Poland. In September 1999, Tischner received the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest decoration.

He died in Kraków on June 28, 2000.


Tischner wrote and published more than 600 articles and books.

His two main works, in which he explained his original philosophical concepts, are:

  • The Philosophy of Drama (Filozofia dramatu) (1998)
  • The Controversy over Human Existence (Spór o istnienie człowieka) (1998)

Most notable among his Góral themed works is:

  • A Goral History of Philosophy (Historia filozofii po góralsku) (1997)

See also


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