Institute of Philosophy and Sociology was established and began its activities in 2002 after the former Institute of Social Sciences had been divided and the separate Institute of Political Sciences had been established. But philosophical and sociological research at the Pedagogical University of Cracow had a much longer tradition, going back to the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. It was in this period that independent research units – operating within the scope of the Faculty of Humanities – were created by the faculty members who conducted research, and taught courses, in philosophy, sociology, and social sciences in general in other university Institutes. Since 1980 those units have been grouped within the Institute of Social Sciences.
Currently the faculty of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology consists of 21 university professors (including 4 full professors) as well as 27 assistant professors and lecturers who work in 13 specialized units (chairs). The head of the Institute Professor Janusz Majcherek. and his deputies are Dorota Probucka Ph.D.and Teresa Zbyrad Ph.D.. The Institute is entitled to bestow the academic title of Ph.D. in philosophy.
The Institute offers the following degree programs:
- BA, MA, and Ph.D. in philosophy
- BA and MA in sociology – with specialized training in the fields of criminology and social disorganization as well as audiovisual communication
- BA and MA in ethics and mediation/negotiation
- BA in education and NGOs management
Apart from these, the Institute offers a wide variety of post-degree courses and specialized training. Its faculty members teach courses in philosophy, sociology, ethics, and social anthropology in several university Institutes, as well as some general courses adressed to all university students.
The Institute is a home to several institutions including:
The Polish Karl Jaspers Society: developing and popularizing the heritage of one of the most outstanding 20th century philosophers and co-founder of existentialism. The Society chaired by Professor Czesława Piecuch collaborates worldwide with other organizations and institutions committed to Jaspers’s thought.
The Søren Kierkegaard Center: founded in the year of the bicentenary of Kierkegaard’s birth (2013) the Center develops and propagates his philosophical heritage and ideas. One of its principal aims is the preparation of the complete Polish edition of Kierkegaard’s works. The director of the Center is Antoni Szwed Ph.D.
The Institute is a publisher of two academic journals:
There are currently two student research and discussion groups in the Institute:
The Research and Discussion Group of Philosophy Students “Arche” – supervised by Magdalena Kiełkowicz-Werner MA (its former chairperson for several years).
The Research and Discussion Group of Sociology Students – supervised by Anna Karnat-Napieracz Ph.D. The Group organizes regular discussion meetings including the special “Meet the Author” events devoted to discussion about books published by the faculty members, as well as “Sociological All Souls’ Day” to commemorate the late sociologists and their heritage.
Every two years the Institute is a host of the Polish Forum of Ethics organized by Dorota Probucka Ph. D.and publishes books containing the Forum proceedings. Besides, the Institute organizes a cycle of lectures in contemporary sociology, inviting outstanding scholars in social sciences. Among the speakers last year were Prof. Jerzy Hausner, Prof. Henryk Domański, and Prof. Tomasz Goban-Klas. Every year the Institute hosts several conferences, both national and international, and invites noted foreign researchers to work as visiting professors. So far there were guests coming from India, USA, Turkey, and Sweden.
Apart from foreign researchers the Institute opens up to foreign students who participate in Erasmus and Erasmus+ exchange programs. Special offer was designed for them and, so far, we had a pleasure to have among us students from Slovakia, Germany, Turkey, Spain, Italy, and Greece.
Every year the Institute becomes a stage for the great philosophico-sociological debate entitled “The Battle of Ideas”. Apart from this, Janusz Majcherek Ph. D. (the deputy chairman of the Cracow section of the Polish Philosophical Society). organize monthly debates in one of Cracow popular pubs under the title of “Philosophical Banquet” which gather numerous participants from among Cracow philosophers and academics.
The teaching programs of the Institute are complemented by its wide and vigorous reseach activities the result of which each year is a number of publications and research projects funded by the National Science Centre and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
The Institute runs Social Sciences Workshop equipped with cuting edge hardware and software that allows to carry out projects in attitudes and public opinion research, media analysis, local problems solution, as well as job market, education, and culture research.
The Institute willingly collaborates with various institutions, both local and national. It had agreements signed with several public institutions, societies, and companies including:
- Cracow City Guard
- The Małopolska Institute of Art
- Wiosna Society
- PMR Consulting
- Ha!Art Corporation
- BD Center
Thanks to the agreements our students can carry on internships, participate in study visits and in a number of other joint initiatives.
The Institute is also a home for the Regional Committee of the National Philosophical Contest for high-school students.