Journal History

First issue cover

The magazine was founded in 1978 by Michael Heller and Joseph Życiński.

Initially, the magazine was published as a newsletter from interdisciplinary seminars organized monthly by the Institute of Philosophy of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Krakow (Franciszkanska 3 str., later at the Augustinian Monastery on Augustinska str., in Krakow).

Seminars originated from meetings dedicated to the study of the relationship between science and faith, and they originally took place in the Palace of the Archbishops of Krakow on the initiative of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla. The meetings continued a long tradition of Krakow's philosophy of nature, with roots going back to the second half of the nineteenth century

In 1978, after the election of Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II, the seminars fundamentally changed, becoming seminars with the published proceedings “Philosophical Problems in Science.”

Due to the political situation in Poland, the first editions of the magazine were published unofficially. The annotations “for internal use” found in the early editions - included to deceive official censorship - are testimony to this early history of the journal.

After the founding of the Pontifical Academy of Theology (PAT) in 1981, the magazine was published by the PAT Faculty of Philosophy.


Since 1990 (XIIth edition), ZFN has been published as the Journal of the Center of Interdisciplinary Research (OBI) of the PAT Faculty of Philosophy. From the following edition on (XIIIth edition), the journal has been published independently of the seminars now taken over by OBI.

In 2002, the magazine Semina Scientiarum was founded in association with ZFN. Semina Scientiarum was initially published as a supplement to ZFN, and from its 10th edition (2011) on, it has been published as an independent magazine. Semina Scientiarum is edited by graduate and doctoral students associated with the OBI. Both magazines are dedicated to the development and popularization of the philosophy of science.

Since 2004, thanks to the initiative of Robert Janusz, the magazine has been published on the Internet at the URL: (initially in the delayed Open Access model). With its Open Access model, the magazine has become a precursor of the Open Access movement among Polish philosophy journals.

Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies

In 2008, the Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies was founded. It was created based on the foundations of OBI as a joint initiative between the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow (successor of PAT) and the Jagiellonian University. The new organization continues to publish the magazine.

On February 10th, 2011, Archbishop Jozef Życiński, co-founder of OBI and Philosophical Problems in Science, died suddenly during his stay in Rome. His contribution to the development of the journal and the philosophy of science was commemorated by a special edition of ZFN.

Copernicus Center PressSince 2013, the journal has been published in cooperation with the scientific publishing house Copernicus Center Press, working under the aegis of the Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. The year 2015 has seen significant changes in the organization of the editorial board of the journal: Michael Heller became an honorary chief editor, and Pawel Polak took over as a chief editor. In addition, the scientific advisory committee and the reviewer team have been revamped, and the organization of the editorial offices has been rearranged.

The journal has begun to be published in an Open Access mode (Diamond Open Access), available on the Open Journal System platform.

Currently, the magazine is published biannually.

More about the history of the magazine and its philosophy can be found in: