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This article reflects on the relationship between master and pupil - more specifically, between university professors and their students. The authoress emphasizes the unusual nature of this relationship: its mutual character and the fact that it never ceases - the pupil draws on the knowledge of the master, but also represents a point of reference for him, and is his partner in the intellectual feast. She compares the atmosphere of the traditional university (in the context of the post-1956 Thaw in Poland) with the present post-secondary institutions, whose graduates attain their desired qualifications, but in which this link between master and pupil does not exist. Her mentor is Zygmunt Bauman.
The authoress presents the philosophical and methodological assumptions underlying the work of Zygmunt Bauman - one of the most interesting and best-known (if not the single most interesting and best known) Polish sociologists. He has devoted himself to engaged sociology, ie, one that is subject to moral values, though his understanding of morality differs from that in classical Durkeimian sociology. While for Durkheim morality is a social fact, created by society and based in society, for Bauman the source of morality is to be found in the modality of human existence. Morality is the ability to distinguish between good and evil. Bauman calls that which society treats as morality 'ethics'. He believes that behaving in accordance with social norms, established in institutions and human consciousness, very often interferes with the upholding of morality. For Bauman, morality also means responsibility for others, who should be treated the same as oneself. He is a maximalist and would like to transfer moral responsibility to the entire network of social relations, institutions and the whole of society, and even humanity. This possibility depends on the condition of society and the dominant social relations. Bauman presents two types of society: modern and postmodern, which he sometimes also calls a society of 'liquid modernity'. His analyses of each kind of society have nevertheless an autotelic value and demonstrate the values of Bauman's reflections.
The subject of this text is the problem of social and cultural time as a lasting motif in the work of Zygmunt Bauman, one which returns time and time again. His reflections on time and the processes of detemporalization, on the subject of continuity and change, and permanence and episodicity have to a greater or lesser extent always been part of his analyses of modernity, postmodernity, globalization, consumer society, the modern polarization of society and exclusion. The presence of the temporal dimension in Bauman's texts means that his work as a whole can be seen as an original, multifaceted, coherent, determined and very interesting statement about time and its transformations in the modern world. Bauman's contribution to temporal analyses of modernity is shown in the broad context of contemporary reflections about time.
Ethics has been one of the main fields of Zygmunt Bauman's in­terests for the last two decades. His papers considering this topic have a considerable impact on contemporary humanities. The idea of 'the moral party of two', developed by the Polish sociologist, contributed to the development of ethical thought and, for example, influenced the new trends in the debate on post-modernity. On the othe hand, this concept has been widely criticized, which is one of the issues discussed in this paper. The author demonstrates that if Bauman's ethical concepts are considered in the context of the foundations of his sociology, and account being taken of the way of writing distinctive for this sociologist, certain controversial aspects of post­modern ethics could be evaluated as functional. Another aim of this paper is to present the evolution of Bauman's ethical thought, which can be seen as twofold. On the one hand, it is the considerable enlargement of the part the individual responsibility is given in Bauman's thought, on the other - his including in the ethical thought the reflection on the role of the political structures in the settings of the collective rules. The author emphasizes that by making such changes Bauman does not deny the constitutive features of his idea of morality, but supplements it and tries to adjust it to the current socio­cultural changes.
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