The International Center for Formal Ontology (ICFO) was created by resolution of the Rector of the Warsaw University of Technology Prof. Jan Szmidt – no. 7/2015 of 16 February 2015 – has already had a few years of informal history. The idea for it came from Prof. Mirosław Szatkowski while the preparation activities were performed by the International God-Oriented Conferences and the International Ontological Workshops.

Along with a few prominent foreign philosophers (Prof. C. A. Anderson, Prof. E. J. Lowe, Prof. U. Meixner, Prof. R. G. Swinburne, Prof. P. van Invagen) Polish entrants at the threshold of their scholarly careers participated in these endeavors. These fruitful meetings of young Polish formal ontologists with world class specialists became one of the motifs for further initiatives.

It was noted that young Polish ontologists have a zest for practicing solid philosophy in the spirit of the Lvov-Warsaw School, the practicing of which in the last few years Prof. Jerzy Perzanowski (see Memoir) has advocated tirelessly. The idea to create ICFO in Warsaw was met with a lot of interest from many foreign scholars, as well as an enthusiastic response from the Polish scholarly milieu.
Amongst others, support was offered by Prof. C. A. Anderson, Prof. H. Burkhardt, Prof. Ch. Kanzian, Prof. S. Kovac, Prof. E. J. Lowe, Prof. U. Meixner, Prof. B. Smith, Prof. P. van Inwagen. Dr. Bartłomiej Skowron contributed his engagement and diverse initiatives in this preparation period. Finally, without the enormous commitment of Prof. Zbigniew Król, a great enthusiast of ICFO, the Dean of the Faculty of Administration and Social Science of the Warsaw University of Technology and Prof. Józef Lubacz (Director of the Institute of Telecommunications, Warsaw University of Technology) it would not be possible to establish the Centre as an institution. Professor Mirosław Szatkowski became the first Director of the Centre. Since 2017, Prof. Marek Kuś has served as Director.

Working in the formal ontology in the years 2011-2020, we organized eleven conferences and ten workshops on the borderline of philosophy, mathematics, physics and computer science, and we published seven books and many papers. Between 2018 and 2020 many young and internationally recognised scholars joined the Centre: Dr. Hab. Katarzyna Budzyńska, Dr. Hab. Frank Zenker, Dr. Hab. Hajo Greif, Dr. Marcin Koszowy, Dr. Paula Quinon, Dr. Antonio Vassallo, Dr. Olena Yaskorska-Shah.

Our first efforts were directed at creating the ICFO through the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. We were requested to provide opinions which would evaluate our project. Out of three opinions two were positive and one was – fairly negative. The first two we decided to post on our website with the permission of the authors (see below). Due to the fact that publicizing the third opinion could be regarded as an expression of malice towards its author, we have decided against that form of publication.


The foundation of an Institute of Formal Ontology in Warsaw – Recommendation Letter by Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans Burkhardt, University of Munich

Proposal for founding an International Center for Formal Ontology in Warsaw – Recommendation Letter by Prof. Dr. habil. Kazimierz Trzęsicki, University of Białystok