Krzysztof Michalski was born in Warsaw. He studied philosophy at the University of Warsaw, where he received his Ph.D. in 1974 with a thesis on Heidegger and Contemporary Philosophy. In 1977, he spent one year in Germany as a Humboldt Fellow, from 1978 onwards he taught philosophy at the University of Warsaw. In 1981/82 he was a Thyssen Fellow at the Heidelberg University and in 1982/1983 a Fellow Commoner of Churchill College at Cambridge. In 1986, he was habilitated for Philosophy at the University of Warsaw with the study Logic and Time. Since 1987, Michalski has been teaching philosophy at Boston University, since 1994 also at the University of Warsaw.
In 1982, he founded the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna, of which he has since been the rector. The Institute is an independent institute for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences. Since its foundation in 1982, it has promoted intellectual exchange between East and West, between academia and society, and between a variety of disciplines and schools of thought.
Ahead of the Eastern enlargement of the EU, Michalski advised the European Commission on several occasions, most notably as chairman of the Reflection Group The Spiritual and Cultural Dimension of Europe (2002–04). He is chairman of the Institute for Public Affairs in Warsaw, and president of the Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study (NetIAS).). In 2004 he was awarded the Theodor Heuss Prize.
Michalski died on February 10, 2013, aged 64, in Vienna. He is survived by his daughters Kalina Michalska, a developmental neuroscientist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD, and Julia Michalska, a journalist and editor at The Art Newspaper in London.
- 2007 Officer’s Cross of the Ordre National du Mérite (France)
- 2004 39th Theodor Heuss Prize, Stuttgart (Germany)
- 2003 Officer´s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
- 1998 European Cultural Prize, Kraków
- 1994 “Man of the year” award of the Polish national daily newspaper Zycie Warszawy
- Heidegger i filozofia współczesna (Heidegger and contemporary philosophy). Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, Warsaw 1978, 2nd edition 1998. Russian edition: Хайдеггер и современная философия, Territoria budushchego, Moscow 2010.
- Logika i czas. Próba analizy Husserlowskiej teorii sensu. Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, Warsaw 1988. English edition: Logic and Time. An Essay on Husserl’s Theory of Meaning. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht/Boston/London 1996. Russian edition: Логика и время. Territoria budushchego, Moscow 2010.
- Zrozumieć przemijanie (Understanding Time. Selected Essays). Fundacja Augusta Hrabiego Cieszkowskiego, Warsaw 2011.
- Płomień wieczności. Eseje o myślach Fryderyka Nietzschego. Znak, Kraków 2007. English edition: The Flame of Eternity: An Interpretation of Nietzsche's Thought. Princeton University Press 2012.
- Castelgandolfo-Gespräche (8 volumes). Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1985 - 1998. Polish edition: Znak and Centrum Myśli Jana Pawła, Warsaw/Kraków 2010.
- Transit – Europäische Revue (biannual journal, since 1990). Verlag Neue Kritik, Frankfurt/Main.
- Conditions of European Solidarity. Volume I: What Holds Europe Together?; volume II: Religion in the New Europe. CEU Press, Budapest/New York 2006. German edition of vol. II: Woran glaubt Europa? Religion und politische Kultur im neuen Europa. Passagen Verlag, Vienna 2007.
- Literature by and about Krzysztof Michalski in the German National Library catalogue
- Website of Krzysztof Michalski at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM)
- Websites of the IWM and of the Institute's journal Transit – Europäische Revue
- Webseite of Krzysztof Michalski at the Boston University
- Reflection Group: cf. The Spiritual and Cultural Dimension of Europe. Concluding remarks, European Commission, Directorate for Social sciences and humanities, Brussels 2005
- Institute for Public Affairs
- Theodor Heuss Prize