Dealing with the Wasteland. Józef Tischner’s Concept of Earth

  • Piotr Popiołek
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU)


Józef Tischner’s works are mostly known in reference to his philosophy of axiology and agatology. There are just few papers about his idea of work and labor, and consequently less about “working on the land” (as it is sometimes referred to in the 1984 English edition of The Spirit of Solidarity 1, or “working the soil”. Working on the land, tending the land, working the soil – only partially reflect the significance of Polish term “gospodarowanie”. There is no adequate English term for Polish original. The lack of Józef Tischners translations to English, made this research little harder. Nonetheless I will try to outline his concept of earth and dialogical relation with it described originally as “gospodarowanie”. By exploring Tischner’s works, his different approaches to this subject, I decided to abandon the traditional term “tending the land” from the 1984 translation of The Spirit of Solidarity (Etyka Solidarności) and replace it with “husbandry”.2 The first most elaborate work of Tischner about husbandry is the chapter titled “Husbandry”3 in Etyka Solidarności, but we can find this topic in most of his writings regarding men’s work. In The Spirit of Solidarity from 1984, Marek B. Zaleski’s translation of Etyka Solidarności (from here now on, I will use The Ethics of Solidarity – in opposition to the 1984 translation), the term “husbandry” was not used even once, and “gospodarowanie” was translated as “tending the land”, “working on the land”, “farming”, “crafting” or just “work of farmer” which is definitely insufficient and can be much more misguiding when referring to The Philosophy of Drama. In this philosophical opus magnum from 1990 there is a new approach to husbandry – which actually shows a way to understand his concept of earth as a stage of drama, and husbandry – as a form of dialogue, which occurs between people within axiological space. But this idea of earth, which does not regard it as a product, and land as property (which can be fully exploited) is almost forgotten in (post)industrial and modern society which treats every aspect of nature in the terms of resourcefulness. In the Tischner’s philosophy of drama such state (reification of earth) is considered as pathology, where the axiological relations are disturbed. So to speak: to understand the concept of Earth and the relation with it (understood as work, and specifically – husbandry) one has to maintain intertextual approach.


Polish Term Word Source Traditional Term Philosophical Construct Polish Word 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piotr Popiołek
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Philosophy, Institute of Religious StudiesJagiellonian UniversityCracowPoland

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