On This Day … 21 December

People (Deaths)

  • 1948 – Władysław Witwicki, Polish psychologist, philosopher, translator, historian (of philosophy and art) and artist (b. 1878)[25].

Władysław Witwicki

Władysław Witwicki (30 April 1878 to 21 December 1948) was a Polish psychologist, philosopher, translator, historian (of philosophy and art) and artist. He is seen as one of the fathers of psychology in Poland.

Witwicki was also the creator of the theory of cratism, theory of feelings, and he dealt with the issues of the psychology of religion, and the creation of secular ethics. He was one of the initiators and co-founders of Polish Philosophical Society. He is one of the thinkers associated with the Lwów–Warsaw school.


Władysław Witwicki was the fifth child of Urszula Witwicka, born Woińska (niece of the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lviv, Łukasz Baraniecki), and Ludwik–Filip Wasylkowicz Witwicki, as well as father of Janusz Witwicki, the creators of the Plastic Panorama of Old Lviv.

He graduated from the University of Lviv, was a student of Kazimierz Twardowski. He also studied at the University of Vienna (under the direction of Alois Höfler) and at the Leipzig University (under the direction of Wilhelm Wundt). He lectured at the University of Lviv and became a professor at the University of Warsaw (1919-1948).


Witwicki is the author of the first Polish textbooks on psychology. He also collaborated with other philosophers. For instance, he worked with Bronisław Bandrowski to develop a model of psychology based on Franz Brentano’s theory on phenomenology. It included an analysis of Edmund Husserl’s Theory of Content and the Phenomenon of Thinking.

In the comments to his own translation of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark – Dobra Nowina według Mateusza i Marka (The Good News according to Matthew and Mark) – Witwicki challenges the mental health of Jesus. He attributed to Jesus subjectivism, increased sense of his own power and superiority over others, egocentrism and the tendency to subjugate other people, as well as difficulties communicating with the outside world and multiple personality disorder, which made him a schizothymic or even schizophrenic type (according to the Ernst Kretschmer’s typology).

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