Call for Papers ERRS V 12, N2 (2021)


Call for Papers
Études Ricœuriennes / Ricœur Studies 


Volume 12, N°2 (2021) 
« Paul Ricœur and the Problem of Space »


Guest Editors: Maria Cristina Clorinda Vendra and Paolo Furia

Editors: Ernst Wolff, Jean-Luc Amalric


Space is a polysemic concepts whose meanings are addressed in different disciplines, such as physics, astronomy, physical and human geography, cultural anthropology, architecture, urbanism, and planning. Contemporary philosophers and social scientists have only recently realized the complexity of this concept. Some critics in both philosophy and the human sciences have spoken of a “spatial turn” as “a response to a longstanding ontological and epistemological bias that privileges time over space in all the human sciences, including spatial disciplines like geography and architecture.”(1)

Since Ricœur almost never broached the topic of space in a thematic way, he could be (and in fact has been) considered as a perfect example of the temporal bias that has characterized both philosophical thought and the human sciences. More specifically, Ricœur directly works on the problem of space in three texts: in the section on the alterity of the flesh and its originary and non-objective spatiality in the tenth study of Oneself as Another (1990), in his article “Architecture and Narrativity” (1998) - (2), and in the chapter “Inhabited Space” in Memory, History, Forgetting (2004). Nonetheless, even though in these three texts Ricœur’s approach to the notion of space remains largely programmatic, it is our conviction that the concept of space is profoundly intertwined with the recurring topics of his thought, such as the body, language, action, time, and the imagination. Moreover, when considered from this perspective, the changes of method implied by Ricœur’s evolution from an eidetic phenomenology to his hermeneutic phenomenology successively dealing with the questions of symbol, text, and action undoubtedly entail relevant consequences for a Ricœurian conception of space.

This issue aims to emphasize the multiple dimensions of the question of space in Ricœur’s thought and also its resonance with the social sciences and the humanities at large. In this way, we hope to fill a gap in Ricœurian studies where the issue of space has begun to be discussed only quite recently (3). Therefore, we invite authors to put Ricœur’s philosophy in dialogue with other thinkers who have recognized space as one of the oldest and most persistent issue in Western thought, such as Whitehead, Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Bachelard, Foucault, and Deleuze, but also Geertz, De Certeau, Lefebvre, Haraway, Casey, Berque, and Ingold.

Some potential themes for articles include, but are not limited to, the following:

What is the nature of the relationship between the lived body and space in light of Ricœur’s phenomenology of the will? What conception of space is implied by Ricœur’s conception of action as “inter-action” and initiative? How might we conceive of the relation between the spatial dimension of human action and the temporality of history?

Is it legitimate, as Ricœur suggests in his three texts dedicated to the topic of space, to establish an analogy between the way we think about time and the way we think about space? Should the connection between the lived experience of space and the objective knowledge of geometrical space be thought according to the same model of the relation existing between phenomenological time and cosmological time? Is it subject to the same aporia? What can be, then, the poetical reply of imagination against this paradox?

What conception of inhabiting and place arises from the hermeneutical approach to the question of space? What are the perspectives opened by the ontology of flesh sketched by Ricœur in the tenth study of Oneself as Another? How can the hermeneutic circularity between prefiguration, configuration, and reconfiguration be applied to the interpretation of natural space and inhabited space? How can hermeneutics contribute to rethinking the guiding principles of the project of architecture and the design of urban space?

What about the spatial metaphor within the Ricœurian theory of semantic innovation applied to the study of metaphor and narrative? To what extent can the work of resemblance of metaphor be conceived as a changing of distance, as a movement from far away to close produced within a logical space? What analogy can be established between the configurating operation of narrative as emplotment and the architectural work of construction and configuration of space?

Is it possible to rethink Ricœur’s conception of the social imaginary and the dialectic between ideology and utopia from the perspective of their spatial implications? What would be, then, the specific relationships between ideology and utopia within a space at once subjective and objective? How might we reconsider the notions of cultural space, social space, and public space with reference to these reflections?

We encourage critical and interdisciplinary approaches bridging the fields of philosophy, literature, anthropology, history, geography, and allied human and social sciences.

Notes :
(1) E. Soja 2008: “Taking Space Personally,” in S. Arias and B. Warf (eds.), The Spatial Turn: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (London: Taylor and Francis, 2008), p. 11.
(2)  P. Ricœur 2016: “Architecture and Narrativity”, Études Ricœuriennes / Ricœur Studies, Vol 7, No 2, pp. 31-42.
(3) Among the first contributions on this issue, it is worth taking into account at least M. A. Vallée  2007: “L’esquisse d’une herméneutique de l’espace chez Paul Ricœur”, Arguments. Revue de philosophie de l’Université de Montréal, Vol. 2, No. 1.


Closing date for the submission of texts: September 15, 2021.


Maximum number of characters (including spaces and notes): 50,000.

Articles can be written either in English or in French.
Format and style: The journal follows the Chicago Manual of Style.

See the ‘Author Guidelines’ rubric on the journal’s website:
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Instructions to authors: In order to submit an article, authors need to register on the journal website: There is a quick, five-step procedure to upload articles to the website. As soon as articles are uploaded, authors will receive a confirmation email. All articles will be peer-reviewed by two referees in a ‘double blind’ process.