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Philosophical Thought

Negative Aspect of the Definition of Social Space: the Concept of χώρα in Plato's Works and Modern Age

Petrov Valerii Evgen'evich

post-graduate student of the Department of Applied and Practical Philosophy at V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University

61022, Ukraine, Kharkiv Region, Kharkiv, ploshchad' Svobody, 6




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The subject of this article is the logic of concept of χώρα in Plato's philosophy and work of modern post-structuralist philosophers (Jacques Derrida and Yulia Kristeva). χώρα is considered as a way of negative definition of the social space understood within the paradigm set by Henri Lefebvre as "sciences about social space" as 1) the material organization of social being and 2) social reality. In focus of this article of concept of social space from Lefebvre's work "The Production of Space" (1974), the analysis of concept of χώρα in Platon's dialogue "Timaeus", synthesis of the basic theoretical provisions of main modern "horologists" - Derrida and Kristeva, and also the generalizing comparison of concepts of χώρα and social space. As the main method of the real research the comparative-historical method that allowed to mark out essential similarities and distinctions of the concept of social space at Henri Lefebvre  and Plato's concept of χώρα and its modern interpretations. The main conclusions of the present research defining its novelty are the provisions that Plato's χώρα is  definition of space in its most abstract look; this space which isn't possessing anything except ability to contain in itself something. However, at all the abstractness, in Plato's χώρα nevertheless two very essential characteristics are shown: first, χώρα participates in some sort ordering, sorting, and in it it is indirectly shown its active and productive functions; secondly, "illegitimate" – from the point of view of truth – conversation about χώρα can't do without appeal to metaphors, that is, to loan of images of these or those social spaces, subjects or relations from the reality surrounding us. t was found out and for the first time in domestic philosophical science it is recorded that modern conceptualizations platonovsky χώρα found the embodiment in Jacques's theories Derrida and to Yulia Kristeva. Both Derrida, and Kristeva, in our opinion, see in Plato's concept of χώρα model for possibility of opening of new ways of judgment of social space, and take essential steps towards their realization. Both thinkers insist on the need for consideration of space out of its (language) representation, on consideration of space of representation ("in which the object both exists and it is reflected"), which is χώρα. However the space continues to be understood by them or as true negativity, emptiness (Derrida), or as exclusive partial space of the biosocial relations of mother and child (Kristeva).

Keywords: representation, subject, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Derrida, Henry Lefebvre, social space, Plato, space, chora, capitalism
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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