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I recently submitted the following abstract for the conference below:


Abstract: Architecture in the Metaxy

Man is a (dependent) rational animal.  This classic formula, while not exhaustively defining man in all of his ontic nor ontological density, is useful in that it points towards characteristic features by which the presence of “the human” might be distinguished in the anthropological record—in other words, how we might recognize ourselves and our origins within the “evolutionary” milieu.

In short, the presence of “the human” makes itself known in the vestiges of the characteristic operation of its mind, as the movement-in-being by which we abstract from and recapture our corporeal existence and use it to signify rather than merely to co-exist in the world (Merleau-Ponty).  Thus, the anthropological record is inherently, and perhaps essentially, the material record of this symbolizing activity.

A philosophical anthropology indicates that this symbolization flows from the beginning of man’s “experience of being” in which is disclosed a two-fold experience: that of being not only in relation to the world in which he finds himself, but ultimately to the ground of being itself (Voegelin).  According to Aristotle’s principle of equivalency, there is a recognizable identity between the experienced reality of this “metaxy” and its symbolization at various levels of differentiation, ultimately as forms of analogical participation.

One such characteristic form of analogical mediation is Architecture, not narrowly or reductively understood within either an equivocal tectonic paradigm nor a univocal conceptualism, but rather as Mircea Eliade and Bernard Lonergan explicate it: as the analogically patterned objectification of space whereby psycho-somatic man posits an orientation in space and time that manifests, orients, and transforms his relationships within the world, as well as his participation in—and search for— the  “ground”.

In view of such an architectural anthropology, this paper serves to explore how Architecture comes to reveal, extend, and transform, whether implicitly or explicitly, each person’s and each culture’s horizon— the beliefs regarding who they are and what it means to be human within the metaxy.  In so doing, it seeks to provide some cursory analysis to the question of “how should we build today?”.