ARAKIEŁOWICZ Gregory—philosopher, b. August 14, 1732, d. June 15, 1798 in Dyneburg.
He entered the Jesuits in 1749; he lectured philosophy in several linguistic colleges including Przemyśl and Lublin. Arakiełlowicz wrote works including Propositiones selectae ex universa philosophia (Prz 1768), and De mundi systemate dissertatio cosmologica in qua Copernicani systematis cum philosophia Sacrisque praesertim litteris congruentiae quaestio dissertitur (Prz 1768, Polish translation by S. Kozikowski in series E, Studiów i Materiałów z Dziejów Nauki Polskiej [Studies and materials from the history of Polish science] 5, Wwa 1972, 5–150), which won the approval of Church authorities.
Arakiełowicz followed an eclectic philosophy that connected the principles of scholastic philosophy with the achievements of the natural sciences. He tried to reconcile faith with new achievements of science. He defended Aristotle’s philosophy and said it was necessary to return to the “pure” Aristotle and the right interpretation of his works in keeping with the spirit of modern science. He supported the allegorical interpretation of Sacred Scripture and said that the unanimous teaching of the Fathers of the Church is a theological proof in matters of faith and morals, but not in physics and astronomy; a literal interpretation of the texts of Sacred Scripture in resolving problems of physics and astronomy takes away their sacral character and gives non-believers an opportunity to show contempt for the Bible. Arakiełowicz did not support Copernicanism without reserve. He regarded the heliocentric conception as a hypothesis. He specially recommended it as suitable for explaining astronomical phenomena because it was based on laws of physics accepted by eminent scholars. He considered the problem of whether heliocentrism was in agreement with the Bible. Arakiełowicz presented “pro” and “contra” arguments and left the choice between systems to the reader.
S. Bednarski, Upadek i odrodzenie skół jezuickich w Polsce [Fall and rebirth of Jesuit schools in Poland], Kr 1933, 325, 334; idem, PSB, I 149–148; L. Szczucki, FPS 12–13; W. Voisé, Grzegorz Arakiełowicz o geo- i heliocentryzmie [Gregory Arakiełowicz on geo- and heliocentrism], in: Mikołaj Kopernik, Studia i materiały Sesji Kopernikowej w Kul 18–19 lutego 1972 roku [Nicholas Copernicus. Studies and materials of the Copernican Session at the Catholic University of Lublin 18–19 February 1972], in Studia i Materiały z Dziejów Nauki Polskiej [Studies and Materials from the history of Polish science], Wr 1983, II 29–52; R. Darowski, Grzegorz Arakiełowicz SJ (1732–1798) i jego poglądy filozoficzne [Gregory Arakiełowicz SJ (1732–1798) and his philosophical views], AC, 27 (1995), 3–12; L. Grzebień, Encyklopedia wiedzy o jezuitach na ziemiach Polski i Litwy 1564–1795 [Encyclopedia of knowledge about Jesuits in the lands of Poland and Lithuania 1564–1795], Kr 1996, 15.