Ideals and ideats

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Michał Heller
Janusz Mączka


The original view of Joseph Życiński, presented in his book The Structure of the Metascientific Revolution (1988), boils down to the observation that almost before our eyes a great revolution took place, not in science, but in the philosophy of science, that is the meta-scientific revolution. His concept of the meta-scientific revolution grew out of his fascination with the revolution that took place in the foundations of mathematics in the first decades of the twentieth century. Whether a change in science deserves to be called a revolution is determined by whether the transformations it underwent also reached the meta-level. The set of presuppositions underlying transformations on the meta-level Życiński calls ideata. One of the aims of this article is to critically reconstruct the meaning of this term.

The action of Życiński’s book takes place mainly on meta-level, but the meta-level constantly interacts with what is happening in science itself. The book sometimes makes an impression as if it were a study of the history of science, but history of science in a specific sense – something like a “sampling” of history with numerous examples. Among the creations of human thought, it is difficult to point to an area that changes more dynamically than science itself, but looking at it from a meta-perspective allows us to grasp those of its features that operate on a much broader scale.

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How to Cite
Heller, M., & Mączka, J. (2022). Ideals and ideats. Philosophical Problems in Science (Zagadnienia Filozoficzne W Nauce), (72), 203–212. Retrieved from
Review articles


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