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ESSLLI 2012, Opole, Poland
The 13th meeting of the GLLI
prof. Grzegorczyk

On 17 May 2011 the Group of Logic, Language and Information of Opole University were honoured to host Prof. dr hab. Andrzej Grzegorczyk, professor emeritus of the Polish Academy of Science of Warsaw, who had kindly accepted the invitation to deliver a lecture under the title The role of logic within the structure of the condition of human existence, within the Golden Series of open lectures which are held under the auspices of Prof. Krystyna Czaja, the Rector of Opole University. The lecture began, in compliance with the established custom, at 12.30, and afterwards the invited guest met members of the GLLI during a seminar held in the meeting room of the Senate of Opole University.

A short welcoming speech on behalf of the University authorities was made by Prof. Stefan Marek Grochalski, Vice-Rector of Opole University in charge of Students’ Matters, and then Prof. Urszula Wybraniec-Skardowska welcomed Prof. A. Grzegorczyk on behalf of the organizers of the meeting, that is the GLLI of Opole University. Next, Prof. Janusz Czelakowski took the floor and in his speech brought closer the biography and the scientific silhouette of Prof. A. Grzegorczyk, underlining the versatility, originality and uniquely lasting character of the Guest’s of the Day scientific achievements.

The main thesis presented by Prof. A. Grzegorczyk, with reference to the title of the lecture, was as follows: logic helps create true texts, that is ones that describe the reality and make it possible to shape the world, the surroundings and one’s own and other people’s behaviors. In contrast to human being, the other species of living creatures (‘żywiny’ /livents/ in the Professor’s nomenclature) regulate their behaviours (individual and social) with the omission of descriptive language. Man is the only species that regulates his behavior with the use of language-aided description of the reality. Living organisms display a particular self-steering (self-regulation) and, in contrast to automata that are constructed in contemporary times – go through the process of maturing in order to act. In the case of the latter, periods of individual maturing to perform determined functions can not be indicated. Functioning of a living creature always takes place within the homogeneous population which the organism belongs to. The content of functioning of a living organism includes the following components: 1. Development of the individual and their attaining full potential; 2. Constant improvement and up-keeping of their own lives and competences; 3. Participation in the reproduction of the population and influencing its genotype; 4. Share in maintenance and improvement of the collective life of the population. Maintenance and improvement on (perfecting) the individual and population consist in providing the livents with vital values (recognizable and realized by all species of animals) that increase their force and physical fitness. The vital value is made by whatever the individual uses to maintain and improve on the physical life of their own organisms, or to maintain the life of the organisms of their relatives, or of all those who belong to the population. In the case of human beings there are additionally spiritual values present, which broaden cognition and understanding of the reality. To human being the spiritual values form the classical canon: the good, related to the structure of the act, the beauty, related to the structure of the existence, and the truth, that is what is faithfully expressed in a language-aided description. The source of logic is the development of the language of description and the need for communication. The essence lies in the appearance of code-based forms of the language of descriptions, which facilitates unification of the communication system that the iconic form fails to provide. Animals, in contrast to human being, can not avail themselves of a way to transfer the shortage of a feature, can not describe an alternative (they ‘know’ only absolute directives). Human being has invented the alternative and the negation since he perceived them in the communication process.

After Prof. A. Grzegorczyk had delivered his lecture, there took place a meeting within a narrow circle of members of the Opole GLLI. During the long discussion that followed a series of themes raised directly in the lecture were referred to, as well as ones that were not directly mentioned in the Professor’s paper, such as questions relating to artificial intelligence, Moravec’s paradox, automata and rationality.