Phenomenology, Community, Participation: A Critical Analysis of Wojtyła’s Early Theory of Solidarity

  • Witold Płotka
Keywords: phenomenological method, community, social ontology, joint actions, personalism, Wojtyła


This article critically examines Wojtyła’s early theory of solidarity in order to explore main concepts, methods and problems of his phenomenology of solidary actions. By Wojtyła’s ‘early theory’ of solidarity is to be understood his theory formulated in The Acting Person and in the studies connected to the book, published mainly in the 1970’s. The author argues that in his theory Wojtyła describes the first-person account of the experience of solidarity, by exploring how solidarity as a social phenomenon is experienced. In a word, the aim of the article consists in the analysis of Wojtyła’s phenomenology of solidarity. To held this analysis, first, the author explores Wojtyła’s methodology, i.e. Thomism, his understanding of phenomenology, and of experience. In this regard, the author asks which methodological attitude is adequate for describing solidarity. Second, Wojtyła’s social ontology is reconstructed. His theory is labelled as adverbial social ontology since it accounts for community as a dynamic structure, which unites people who act ‘together’. Finally, the author tracks main points of Wojtyła’s view of participation as a social phenomenon which grounds solidarity.
Political and Social Thought