Global Humanities Junior Research and Teaching Stay at l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
November 2014 - March 2015
Philosophy and space: geometrical interpretations in phenomenology and ontology
Twentieth century philosophy started with a fundamental split between so-called continental and analytic philosophy. The former chose sense as its object and time and the horizon for its understanding and interpretation. The later chose rather form as its object and logics as the means to grasp it. From here derived two interpretations of language: as interpretation and as logics. It was structuralism however, who showed the indissoluble link between formalism and interpretation. In this manner, the continuum, characteristic of time and sense, confronted the discrete world of combinatorial formalism. If time served in the early XXth century to oppose the discrete and disconnected world of scientific space, space served in the 60’s to oppose the continuum of time (and that of subjectivity). The main problem became to think the cut, the discontinuity. This lead to the aporia of the cut and the fluid, the break and the smooth. For the idea was to think the break as otherness and difference as a smooth continuity (different to opposition and absolute negation) simultaneously. At the same time topology, a branch of mathematics devoted to think space in a qualitative manner, developed since the XIXth century a thought revolving around the problem of the discrete, the continuum and its differentiation. It developed a precise conceptuality to think and classify types of spaces, equivalences and transformations. It offered also a philosophical and mathematical idea of space. In the XXth century, topology moved forward an integration of time and change to notions of space, resulting in a theory of emergence, change and duration of structures. It is at this point that structuralism and topology, mathematics and philosophy meet. And it also at this point that continental philosophy, especially that of Heidegger (who consecrated his work to think radically the link between being and time) and Husserl (who though the apprehension of forms as the main task of philosophy), and mathematical formalism find new common paths.
Arturo Romero Contreras obtained his PhD in Philosophy at the Freie Universitaet Berlin (2014) with a dissertation entitled Thinking Presence Otherwise. Considerations on Presence and Alterity: Phenomenology, Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis. He holds a Master degree in Philosophy (2005) and a Diploma in Psychology (2002) form the National Autonomous University of Mexico.