This memorial to Leszek Kołakowski by perhaps his most famous student—a cofounder of the Solidarity movement—treats Kołakowski's life story only in passing. Not a conventional eulogy, the essay runs extensively through several of the arguments Kołakowski made over the years that taught the Polish “Generation of `68” how best to undo oppression and why they should do so. Emphasis falls on the difficulty, unpredictability, and unclassifiable features of Kołakowski's writings—features that, paradoxically, did not stand in the way of his becoming not only the “prince of philosophers,” but also the best known and even the most popular thinker in Poland of the half-century following World War II.

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