ZBIGNIEW KOTOWICZ was born in London in 1950 and died in Lisbon aged 67. He was a rare, proud, sometimes solitary man with a gift for friendship. He wrote four acclaimed books: on the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa, on the neurologist Egas Moniz (originator of psycho-surgery), on the psychiatrist Ronald Laing and on the philosopher Gaston Bachelard. The books themselves are impressive, but their range more striking still. In an age of specialisation, Zbigniew was something of a polymath.
A love of literature took root early, as did a radical’s commitment to the political left, broadly construed. Psychology and psychoanalysis followed. Then philosophy offered him a way to exercise his restless intelligence more freely. Its greatest gift was an introduction to the work of Bachelard, who became the point around which all his thinking turned.
Zbigniew Kotowicz worked at CFCUL between the 2011 and 2017, under a fellowship granted by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. During this period, he published the books Psychosurgery – The Birth of a New Scientific Paradigm. Egas Moniz and the Present Day (2012, CFCUL), Bachelard, 50 ans après (2016, CFCUL), and Gaston Bachelard. A Philosophy of the Surreal (2016, Edinburgh University Press). He collaborated with the members of CFCUL in a number of research projects and participated in postgraduate teaching at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon.
Z.K. image by David Webb.