Questions of Boundaries Research Group

Beata Anna Pokorska, Tomasz Węcławski


At the basis of “Questions of Boundaries Research Group”, carrying out its activity since November 2006 as an interdepartmental unit of Adam Mickiewicz University, lays the idea of discussion. In this discussion, or rather a coincidence of discussions, due to its dialogic formula, a distinctive question came through, and we decided to put it in the first information about this idea (and also, from the very beginning, at the website: as its specific, constitutional preamble: ”Is it possible to create a platform for joint questions, talks, lectures and discussions dealing with basic issues, such as image of the world and our own place in it – for people who do not have and do not need to have one shared point of view”. Our starting point is the consciousness of a growing difficulty towards the aim of comprehending the world we experience as a whole. We find ourselves at the point at which simultaneously: - almost all possibilities of a modern scientific research are disclosed (especially technological possibilities), along with their hardly predictable consequences for a human being; – the possibility of a deeper basic understanding of the way the world – and our own life – are given to us, is sparkling through, providing a chance that we will achieve an inventive attitude towards those realities in our civilization which appear to be dangerous or spoiled; – there prevails a difficulty with the underlying intention of any science – to describe the world as a whole. Nevertheless, the desire to perceive the world as a whole has not vanished. It is present even when there comes along a certain skepsis as to the probability of satisfying this desire. We cannot excuse ourselves from attempting to answer the question why is it so. We also should not resign from trying to express this desire. We should realize that, although a common reaction to discomfort  is trying to remove it, namely to harmonize a disrupted view of reality as quickly as possible, it is by no means the only possible solution. It is rather immediate and temporary and, for some fundamental processes of problem solving (investigative as well as existential), it may have a restraining effect. Above all, it means closing to the “unexpected” which has a potential of possibilities in itself. Perhaps that is why, instead of quickly reducing and eliminating inconvenient situations, it is worth “to condensate” them on purpose. In the academic year 2007/2008 Questions of Boundaries Research Group has offered students and PhD’s about a dozen of classes per each semester ( PPG Wiki/Wiki.jsp?page =20072008). Most prominent among them are the series of interdisciplinary lectures: “Xenophobia, Racism and Exclusion (because of Race, Sex and Age)” and “Boundaries of Humanity: Between Human and Animal World” along with “Boundaries of Humanity: Between the World of Human and the World of Machines” – these are delivered by the representatives of many varying disciplines. This year’s research priorities consist of two projects: “Redefinition of the Fundamental Terms of Humanism in the Light of Holocaust” and “Spaces of Community”. Lectures, seminars and classes of Research Group have raised wide interest and, among our other intentions, they begin to play an important role in creating a meeting space for students and PhD’s of various faculties and specialties.


world as a whole; questions of boundaries; lectures and discussions; methodology; competence

Full Text:

PDF (Polish)