Karol Libelt

Karol Libelt

Karol Libelt (1807-1875) was a Polish philosopher, writer, political and social activist, social worker and liberal, nationalist politician, president of PTPN.

Life and work

Libelt took part in the failed November Uprising against Russia in 1830. Since 1839 he became the head of a secret committee started to organise yet another uprising against the partitioning powers, which was nick-named the "Libelt Committee" - "Komitet Libelt"). For taking part in the 1846 uprising he was sentenced by the Prussian authorities for 20 years of imprisonment in a fortress. However, he was released in 1848 and returned to Posen (Poznań), where he took part in various secret organisations supporting the independence of Poland (Polish National Committee and Revolutionary Committee). During the Spring of Nations he was chosen as one of the members of the Frankfurt Parliament; he also took part in the Slavic Congress in Prague in June 1848.

In 1849 he was elected a member of the Prussian parliament and became the director of the liberal "Dziennik Polski" (Polish Daily). The following year Libelt began organizing various scientific and social organisations in Greater Poland, including the Society of Friends of the Sciences in Posen (Poznań), which became a "de facto" university. Between 1868 and 1875 he headed the Society and gave lectures in æsthetics.

In his philosophical works, Libelt described the so-called Polish messianism, or a belief that the history of the world would be redeemed by the Polish people, who gained moral excellence because of the suffering of their fatherland. He believed in existence of a super-rational cognitive power, visible through art. He is known internationally mainly because of the word intelligentsia popularized by him in one of his books ("Filozofia i krytyka" - "Philosophy and Critics").

See also

* Poznań Society of Friends of Arts and Sciences
* History of philosophy in Poland
* List of Poles


* Witold Jakóbczyk, "Przetrwać na Wartą 1815-1914", "Dzieje narodu i państwa polskiego", vol. III-55, Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza, Warszawa 1989

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