Ryszard Legutko

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Ryszard Legutko
Ryszard Legutko
(Kielce, 25 February 2014)
Co-chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists
Head of the Polish Law and Justice Delegation to the European Parliament
Assumed office
11 December 2011
ChairmanSyed Kamall
Serving alongsideHans-Olaf Henkel
Raffaele Fitto
Roberts Zīle
Helga Stevens
Geoffrey Van Orden
Jan Zahradil (until 2014)
Derk Jan Eppink (until 2014)
Minister of National Education
In office
13 August 2007 – 16 November 2007
Prime MinisterJarosław Kaczyński
Preceded byRoman Giertych
Succeeded byKatarzyna Hall
Member of the European Parliament
for Lesser Poland and Świętokrzyskie
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Member of the European Parliament
for Lower Silesian and Opole
In office
14 July 2009 – 2 July 2014
Personal details
Born (1949-12-24) 24 December 1949 (age 69)
Kraków, Poland
Political partyLaw and Justice
Alma materJagiellonian University
OccupationPolitician, philosopher

Ryszard Antoni Legutko (Polish pronunciation: [ˈrɨʂart anˈtɔɲi lɛˈɡutkɔ]), born 24 December 1949, is a Polish philosopher and politician. Professor of philosophy at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, specializing in ancient philosophy and political theory.[1] \


Under communism he was one of the editors of the samizdat quarterly “Arka”. After the collapse of the communist regime he co-founded the Centre for Political Thought, which combines research, teaching, seminars and conferences and is also a publishing house.[2] He has translated and written commentaries to Plato’s Phaedo (1995), Euthyphro (1998) and Apology (2003). He is the author of several books: Plato’s Critique of Democracy (1990), Toleration (1997), A Treatise on Liberty (2007) and An Essay on the Polish Soul (2008), Socrates (2013).

In 2005 he was elected to a seat in the Polish Senate (representing the Law and Justice Party), where he became Deputy Speaker. In 2007 he was Poland’s Education Minister, and in 2007–9 Secretary of State in the Chancellery of President Lech Kaczyński. He is currently a member of the European Parliament, where he sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee, a head of the Polish Law and Justice Delegation to the European Parliament and a Co-chairman of the Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group[3].

Sued in 2010 for violation of personal rights by calling students who demanded removal of Christian symbols from a public school “unruly brats spoiled by their parents”, he asked for a dismissal of the case based on his immunity as a member of European Parliament. In 2011 the court denied that request.[4] Plaintiffs are represented by an attorney on a pro-bono basis under the Precedential Cases Program of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.[5]

Fellow of Collegium Invisibile as a professor of philosophy.[6]

In April 2019 Legutko was invited by Middlebury College. His lecture was cancelled after his arrival from Europe. Some students invited him as a guest lecture. [7]


Legutko has been accused of racism and homophobia fby Middlebury College activists, who didn't allow him to lecture there.[8] In his book "Why I am Intolerant?" he describes minority groups "homosexuals, Africans, feminists" as "fashionable cultures" and their actions as "tyrannical", comments which have led to significant criticism.[9] He has also referenced Pride as “aggressive, anti-Christian and shocking[10]” as well as an “unnecessary, destructive experiment." Similarly, he has argued that homophobia is "a totally fictitious problem, it doesn't not exist anywhere" and goes on to claim that "Christians are the group that have been most discriminated against.[11]"



  • Legutko, Ryszard (1990). Plato’s Critique of Democracy.
  • ——— (1997). Toleration.
  • ——— (2007). A treatise on liberty.
  • ——— (2008). An essay on the Polish Soul.
  • ——— (2013). Socrates.
  • ——— (2016). The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies. ISBN 1-59403863-5.[12]

Essays and reporting[edit]

  • Legutko, Ryszard (January – February 2016). "Letter from Warsaw". Quadrant. 60 (1–2): 70–72.


External links[edit]