The International Center for Formal Ontology (ICFO) was created by resolution of the Rector of the Warsaw University of Technology Prof. dr. hab. Inż. Jan Szmidt – no. 7/2015 of 16 February 2015 – has already had a few years of informal history. The idea for it came from Assoc. Prof. Mirosław Szatkowski while the preparation activities were performed by the International God-Oriented Conferences and the International Ontological Workshops which were also initiated and (co) organized by Assoc. Prof. Szatkowski.
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 – for which Assoc. Prof. Szatkowski especially advocated and the importance of which has been emphasized many times. 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 Department of Administration and Social Science of the Warsaw University of Technology, it would not have been possible to create the Center in the institution.
Between 2011-2015 we organized three conferences, four workshops, and five books were published in renowned foreign publishing houses under the (co) editorship of Assoc. Prof. Mirosław Szatkowski. We are now starting an international research group the Warsaw Circle for the Study of Thomas Aquinas’ Ontology.
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 internet 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