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Filimonova O. F. Empty Place: the Voice of Social Reality. Izvestiya of Saratov University. Philosophy. Psychology. Pedagogy, 2018, vol. 18, iss. 3, pp. 292-?. DOI:

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Empty Place: the Voice of Social Reality

Is it possible to be surprised that cognitive interest in the problem of space, both theoretical and practical, remains stable and even steadily grows along with changes of the ways and character of spatial relations and connections in the society. And is it not natural that this mostly contradictory process depends not only on variability of social and spatial coupling, but also on the point of view of the investigators’ interest. All this opens up new ways of understanding the spatial aspect of social existence in urban conditions. The article is aimed at clarifying the meaning of the basic concept of the social theory of space – the category of space and at segregation of the problem of «empty space» as a special topic from this general conceptual field. The place as it is bears in itself the signs of the practices that exist in it, hence, our intention is to analyze how the place loses its essential attributes in the conditions of the city and can be perceived as empty space. It has been shown that due to the radical openness to the global processes, the cities focus in themselves something non-native, alien, mixed, thus challenging social values and institutional orders. In the framework of these events, the problem of «empty space» is considered from three interconnected semantic points: «as life in emptiness», which signals about life beyond historical and cultural memory; as «loss of space», registering correlation with social exclusion; as «an alien place» – actual identification with the world of alien culture. The study notes that these modern urban life symptoms, in their specific expression, have converged in social reality of «empty space».


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