ALEMBEK Walerian—a philosopher, doctor of medicine, rector of the Zamość Academy, b. in Lwów, d. in Lwów on February 16, 1676.

Walerian Alembek belonged to the well-known Lwów family of Alembek. His father, Jacob, wrote the first historical description of Lwów. After Walerian Alembek completed his studies in the department of arts at the University of Kraków, he obtained his baccalaurete in 1634 (Liber prom., 301), and later obtained his magisterium (master’s degree). In 1638 he became a professor of the Zamość Academy, first in mathematics, then in philosophy (metaphysics). From 1646 to 1648, he studied medicine in Padua and earned a doctorate. From 1650 to 1652 he was rector of the Zamość Academy for two terms. He probably left Zamość in 1652 and went to the city of his brith, Lwów, and held the positions of councilor, mayor, and court physician for King Michael Korybut Wiśniowiecki.

The text of his lectures on metaphysics (In Metaphysicam Aristotelis praelectiones in Academia Zamoscensi) occupies 131 sheets in folio (manuscript BOZ 1573) and ends at Book VIII. The lectures start with Oratio de metaphysicae laudibus, which is inscribed with the date of June 14, 1649, and is written in elegant Latin. The oration emphasizes the significance of metaphysics for the other sciences and for the general perfection of the human mind: “Metaphysica omnium praeter Theologiam facultatum regina est, principiorum dispensatrix, sapientiae humanae fons inexhaustrix”. In the introduction to the lectures (In libris XII Metaphysicae Aristotelis praefatio), Alembek presents various ways of defining metaphysics, then describes the character of Aristotle (Quis fuerit Aristoteles?) and his Metaphysics. He establishes three criteria whereby the authenticity of a work may be verified: (1) the style of the author; (2) passages in other works mentioning the work in question; (3) agreement in opinion and the authority of the commentators (consensus et auctoritas interpretum). After he speaks of the importance of the work and its general character, Alembek comments upon the particular books, and after each book he presents a summary of its most important theses (axiomata libri). In Alembek’s lectures there is a characteristic accent on the texts of the mediaeval commentators upon the Metaphysics such as Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and Giles of Rome.

Statuta nec non Liber promotionum philosophorum ordinis in Universitate studiorum Jagiellonica ab anno 1402 ad annum 1849, Kr 1849; J. K. Kochanowski, Dzieje Akademii Zamojskiej (1595–1784) [History of the Zamość Academy (1595–1784)], Kr 1899–1900; J. A. Wadowski, Anacephaleosis Professorum Academiae Zamoscensis. Wiadomość o profesorach Akademii Zamojskiej (rps z XVII w.) […Information on the professors of Zamość Academy (manuscripts from the 17th century)], Wwa 1899–1900; I. Dąmbska, Filozofia w Akademii Zamojskiej w Polsce w XV–XVIII wieku (Philosophy in the Zamość Academy during the Renaissance), in: Nauczanie filozofii w Polsce XV–XVIII wieku (The teaching of philosophy in Poland in the 15th–18th century), Wr 1978, 98–114; Z. Ogonowski, Filozofia szkolna w Polsce XVII wieku (Scholastic philosophy in Poland of the 17th century), Wwa 1985, 5–63.

Kazimierz Wójcik

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