Arnošt Kolman and Bertrand Russell at the 1948 International Congress of Philosophy


  • Jakub Mácha Masaryk University



The only encounter of the Czech philosopher and Communist official Arnošt Kolman with Bertrand Russell at the Tenth International Congress of Philosophy in Amsterdam in 1948 was unfortunate. Kolman’s paper, “The Tasks of Contemporary Philosophy in the Struggle for New Humanism”, aroused a vitriolic rejoinder by Russell. However, the text of the paper as published in the congress Proceedings has a conciliatory tone. This version could not have aroused such a reaction. There is, however, an article, with a similar title, published in Czech in 1948, stating that this is Kolman’s paper from the congress. I argue that this article more likely reflects what Kolman actually said at the Congress. Finally, I provide an English translation of this article.