ABRAMOWSKI Edward (ps. Warszawiak, Z.R. Walczewski, M.A. Czajkowski) — sociologist, philosopher, psychologist, and social activist, b. August 17, 1868 in Stefanin (the Ukraine), d. June 21, 1918, in Warsaw.
He studied philosophy at the Jagellonian University. In 1886 he left for Geneva where he studied the natural and historical sciences along with philosophy. He also participated there in social and political life. After returning to Poland he propagated the idea of stateless socialism. In 1915 he was given the chair of psychology at the University of Warsaw. Abrahamowski had a broad interest in social issues. He wrote as a journalist and also wrote articles suporting mass movements. He was one of the organizers of the II Proletariat and was the Leader of the Worker's Union (Zjednoczenie Robotnicze). During the congress during which the PPS was founded, he was elected to lead the Foreign Union of Polish Socialists (Związek Zagraniczny Polskich Socjalistów). At the beginning he was occupied with the socialist movement, but gradually his interest shifted to solidarism and cooperativism (he started a version of it in Poland), but he considered it more from an ethical than from an economic standpoint. In the years 1889-1893, Abrahamowski formulated his own theory of revolutionary socialism. The most important thing to him was the need to form a new socialist awareness among the masses. The theoretical underpinnings of Abrhamowski's original thought was the classic problematic of Marxist historic materialism.
In the early period of his work, he studied questions in collective and individual psychology and investigated social life and the influence of phenomena of consciousness and morality upon the tempo of social development. What is characteristic of Abrahamowski's system is that he attempted to develop Marx's thought while giving it new philosophical foundations. He was the author of a theory of sociological phenomenalism in which he tried to find agreement between the views of E. Durkheim and G. de Tarde. According to him, social phenomena have a real and a psychological character. He emphasized the important role of conscience in the development of society and regarded it as an important factor in political change. In his opinion, actions aimed at reform should begin with moral renewal, particularly with the development of the ethic of brotherhood, solidarity and mutual assistance. Abrahamowski did not consider socialism as a sociological doctrine but as a living social movement in which the evaluation of the value of changes was dependent upon changes in individual consciousness.
Besides sociology, he was also interested in psychology. He tried to investigate experimentally the unconscious factors in the human psyche. On the basis of his investigations in psychology he developed an original conception of epistemology, aesthetics and metaphysics. The basic premise in his conception was that everything that happens in the mind has an intellectual character and is subjective. He recognized only that which is independent of the intellect as objective. He distinguished among various non-intellectual impressions, among which he included sleep, dreaming, hypnotic states, and aesthetic experiences. By his non-intellectual experiences, man has a chance to relate to true reality. The less the role of the intellect, that is, the less the role of intellectual experiences, the more a man reaches reality.
In the years 1891-1893, Abrahamowski wrote his historical-economic study Feudalizm (Feudalism). In sequence, his other works are: Pierwiastki indywidualne w socjologii (Individual elements in sociology) (Wwa 1899); Zagadnienia socjalizmu (Questions of socialism) (Lw 1899, under the pseudonum Z.R. Walczewski); Idee społeczne kooperatyzmu (Social ideas of cooperativism) (Wwa 1907); and Kooperatywa jako sprawa wyzwolenia ludu pracującego (The cooperative as a matter of the liberation of the working people) (Wwa 1911, 1928 5. His most important works in psychology are: Teoria jednostek psychicznuch. Przyczynek to krytyki psychologii współczesnej (The theory of psychological individuals. A contribution to the critique of modern psychology) (Wwa 1899); Prace z psychologii doświadczalnej (Works in experiential psychology) (I-II, Wwa 1913-1916); Żródła podświadomości (Sources of the unconscious) (Wwa 1914) and Przyczynek do psychologii myślenia logicznego (A contribution to the psychology of logical thought) (Wwa 1915).
Abrahamowski's philosophical and social ideas had an influence upon the syndicalist movement in Poland. One of his proposals was to introduce planning in the organization of the market.
B. Cywiński, Myśl polityczna Edwarda Abrahamowskiego (Political thought of Edward Abrahamowski), Wr 1978; J. Szmyd, Prekursorzy psychologii religii w Polsce (Precursors of the psychology of religion in Poland), Kr 1978, 11-70; W. Gielżyński, Edward Abrahamowski, Zwiastum "Solidarności" (Edward Abrahamowski, Herald of "Solidarity"), Lo 1986; J. Kaczyński, Kultura. Myśl estetyczna Edwarda Abrahamowskiego (Culture. The aesthetic thought of Edward Abrahamowski), O 1988; J. Paradowski, Światopogląd Edwarda Abrahamowskiego (The world-view of Edward Abrahamowski), Wwa 1991; W. Kaczocha, Studia z historii myśli. Krzywicki, Abrahamowski, Czarnowski, Chwistek (Studies in the history of thought. …) Wwa 1991, 61-73; Sto lat socjologii polskiej (One hundred years of Polish sociology), Wwa 1995 (passim).