Espace comme visage de la nature?

En marge des cosmologies phénoménologiques


  • Karel Novotný



phenomenology, cosmology, space


The article focus on the concept of space that Jan Patočka outlined by 1960 in a paper “The space and its problematic” and in a group of manuscripts connected with this paper. The article draws attention to the impact on Patočka of an idea of Max Scheler who saw a so called “emptiness of the heart” in the foundation of human experience of the space. This impact might have shaped the philosophical position of Patočka in a proximity and a distance to the Husserlian transcendental phenomenology, on the one hand, but to the philosophical cosmology of Eugen Fink as well, on the other hand. All the phenomena, everything that can appeal to us as a face, even the nature or cosmos itself, can only appear in that form of space, according to Patočka. This whole of the space remains itself invisible as a transparent medium for every appearing in the world, and it keeps us, at the same time, from a direct confrontation with a faceless periphery of our world, a periphery that remains alien to it. That is what Patočka would call a vital origin of the space, or vital space, that refers to the emptiness of the heart and to an activity of building that from this emptiness brings an order into the reality and creates a “home” in it. For the philosophical cosmology, on the contrary, our world, even if centered in homes, with its space and time, has its very origin in the movement of the cosmos itself that gives the space as well as all phenomena that we can ever face.