Space of Experience, Horizon of Expectation. Spatiotemporal Metaphors, Philosophical Anthropology, and the Flesh

Roger W. H. Savage


Paul Ricœur’s recourse to the metahistorical categories, space of experience and horizon of expectation, invites an inquiry into geography’s role as the guarantor of history. The ontology of the flesh provides the first indication of how one’s body is implicated in the sense of one’s place in the world. In turn, narrative inscriptions of events on the landscape transform the physical topography of a place into an array of sites where memories of ancestral wisdom and historical traumas endure. By anchoring historians’ representations of the past in the places and locales in which events took place, geography constructs a third space analogous to the third time of history. The aporias engendered by the phenomenology of time, however, have no equivalent in the phenomenology of space. The dissymmetry between the dialectic that informs the discourse of space and the one that informs the discourse of time thus keeps in place the  reciprocal relation between geography and historiography.


Body; Flesh; Geography; Historiography; Phenomenology; Space; Time.

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