I must thank a number of people who have assisted, encouraged, and helped me during the three years in which I have been writing this book. For the initial idea and for crucial help with the difficulties which I faced at every step, I am indebted to Professor Fr. Luigi Giussani, who, during a long friendship, has introduced me to the problems of Christian thought. Those who know my earlier works will see the traces left by long companionship with the writings and the person of Prof. Augusto Del Noce, particularly in relation to questions regarding the philosophical interpretation of contemporary philosophy and the philosophical comprehension of history. My conversations with Professor Dino Pasini have germinated many seeds on the theme of human rights, which in diverse degrees have been planted in my arguments in the part of the book related to this matter.
To Mrs. Ludmila and Prof. Stanislaw Grygiel I have over the years contracted a particularly deep debt: their friendship, in addition to providing me with much detailed information about Poland, has introduced me to the ethos of its culture, and especially that of Cracow, which is the wider background behind the argument of this work. I also wish to remember Prof. Jozef Tischner and Fr. Francesco Ricci, with whom I discussed the main themes of this study during a conference in Latin America in October, 1981. Dr. Stanislaw Morawski of the Free International University of Social Sciences in Rome has assisted me greatly by lending me ideas and material difficult to obtain in Italy. Dr. Massimo Serretti and Dr. Pierluigi Pollini have helped by gathering material which has been used in the context of research about Polish philosophy in the School of Lublin/Cracow, financed