Stuart Elden, who blogs at Progressive Geographies, has put up these respective quotes from Foucault and Lefebvre on ‘the space of the world.’ I am familiar with the Lefebvre quote but had to dig out my copy of The Order of Things for Foucault, having not flagged that reference previously.

I find the problem of the ‘world’ fascinating, particularly as it has become a commonplace problematic, such as in Russell’s arguments on our knowledge of the external world in which he attacks Bergson – who gained so much influence in the early 20th century. Or in the later Wittgenstein, such as we get in On Certainty, where a defense of Moore’s common sense and what it is reasonable to doubt is inevitably caught up with what sorts of things we understand to be part of the world.

I have a preliminary paper comparing some of these sorts of issues and these posts by Dr. Elden have sparked my interest in picking them back up come September.

Progressive Geographies

A la limite, le problème qui se pose c’est celui des rapports de la pensée à la culture : comment se fait-il que la pensée ait un lieu dans l’espace du monde, qu’elle y ait comme une origine, et qu’elle ne cesse, ici et là, de commencer toujours à nouveau.

Michel Foucault, Les mots et les choses, p. 64.

Ultimately, the problem that presents itself is that of the relations between thought and culture: how is it that thought has a place in the space of the world, that it has its origin there, and that it never ceases, in this place or that, to begin anew?

Michel Foucault, The Order of Things, p. 50.

Le paysage urbain medieval inverse l’espace antérieur, celui du «monde». Il muliplie les lignes brisées, les verticales. Il bondit hors du sol ; il se hérisse de sculptures.

Henri Lefebvre, La production de…

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