Fortnightly logo

On the Future of Truth

In an age of skepticism, can anything meaningful still be said about Truth? Professor Leszek Kolakowski, who has addressed the modern alienation of reason in his writings, will confront this question in his second Athenaeum Iecture.

This year's Podlich Distinguished Fellow, Professor Kolakowksi began his career at Warsaw University. Having been expelled from his university post by the Polish government in 1968 for political reasons, he became a Visiting Professor at McGill University and at Berkeley before being appointed Senior Research Fellow of All Souls College Oxford. During the 1970s he wrote his monumental, three-volume Main Currents of Marxism (Oxford, 1978). From 1981 to 1994 he was also Professor on the Committee of Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

Professor Kolakowski is the author of over thirty books including Religion: If There is No God... On God, the Devil, Sin, and Other Worries of the So-Called Philosophy of Religion (1990), Bergson (1985), Husserl and the Search for Certitude (1975), Metaphysical Horror (1988), The Presence of Myth, God Owes Us Nothing: A Brief Remark on Pascal's Religion and the Spirit of Jansenism (1995). His many honors include six honorary doctorates, a McArthur Fellowship, the Jefferson Award, and Prix Tocqueville. Kolakowski will be in residence at Claremont McKenna College until March 30th. He gave his first lecture, "On Natural Law," at the Athenaeum on February 12th.