Adam Schaff came from a family of Polish lawyer. He completed his studies at the Law Faculty of the University of Lviv and at the École des Sciences Politiques et Économiques in Paris, received his doctorate in 1945 in philosophy at the Moscow State University. After the war he held the chair of philosophy in Łódź. From 1948 he was an associate and then full professor in Warsaw. Initially Schaff was stalwart line of orthodox Marxism, from the mid- 1960s, he contributed significantly to the development of a democratic socialism.
His political and scientific career was changeable. Since 1948, he taught Marxist philosophy at Warsaw University. From 1951 he was a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences, from 1957 he was director of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Academy of Sciences. From 1955 to 1969 he was a member of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party, as its chief ideologue he was. In 1981 he was expelled from the party. Since 1969 he was a member of the Club of Rome. In the 1970s, he taught as a visiting professor at the University of Vienna Social Philosophy. Even after 1989, the Eastern Bloc had dissolved, put Adam Schaff his hopes on a humanistic socialism.
- On Some Problems of the Marxist theory of truth, 1954, Berlin: Dietz.
- Marx or Sartre, 1964, Vienna? ; Cologne; Stuttgart; Zurich: Europa ET
- Language and cognition, 1965, Vienna; Frankfurt; Zurich: Europa ET.
- Marxism and the human individual, Vienna 1965. ; Frankfurt; Zurich: Europa ET.
- Introduction to Semantics, 1966, Berlin: German Verl of Sciences. VEB.
- Essays on the Philosophy of Language, 1968, Frankfurt: European Verlagsanst ..
- History and Truth, 1970, Vienna; Frankfurt; Zurich: Europa -Verl ..
- Theory of truth, 1971, Vienna: Europe ET.
- Man, subject and object, 1973, Vienna: Europa Verlag. ISBN 3-203-50472-3.
- Structuralism and Marxism, 1974, Vienna: Europa Verlag. ISBN 3-203-50519-3.
- Humanism, philosophy of language, epistemology of Marxism, 1975, Vienna: Europa Verlag. ISBN 3-203-50541- X.
- Sociolinguistics, 1976, Vienna: Europa Verlag. ISBN 3-203-50591-6.
- Alienation as a social Phämomen, 1977, Vienna: Europa Verlag. ISBN 3-203-50630-0.
- Stereotypes and human action, 1980, Vienna, Munich, Zurich: Europa Verlag. ISBN 3-203-50750-1.
- The communist movement at a crossroads, 1982, Vienna; Munich; Zurich: Europa Verlag. ISBN 3-203-50794-3.
- In the midst of a new technological revolution, 1983, Vienna: Gpa.
- Poland today, 1984, Vienna; Munich; Zurich: Europa Verlag. ISBN 3-203-50861-3.
- Introduction to the theory of knowledge, 1984, Vienna; Munich; Zurich: Europa Verlag. ISBN 3-203-50878-8.
- Where Are We Headed, 1985, Vienna? ; Munich; Zurich: Europa Verlag. ISBN 3-203-50909-1.
- Perspectives of modern socialism, 1988, Vienna; Zurich: Europe Verl .. ISBN 3-203-50960-1.
- Oekumenischer humanism, c1992, Salzburg: Müller. ISBN 3-7013-0828-4.
- My Century, 1997, Berlin: Dietz. ISBN 3-320-01928-7.