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The phenomenological concept of institution: event, history, symbolic


The project aims at illustrating the specificity and fecundity of the phenomenological concept of Stiftung/“institution”. Thanks to its joint reference to the taking place of an event and the opening of a new dimension of meaning, the concept of institution allows us to map out a rich and articulated field of research, the potential of which still awaits to be fully fleshed out in the literature. The project also aims at filling this gap, in particular by writing some papers and a book on the theme.
The concept of institution, originally introduced by Husserl, shall be analyzed with reference to several authors belonging to the phenomenological and post-phenomenological tradition: Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida and Richir. The aim of the project is to analyze several theoretical issues which the concept of institution allows us to make emerge across the texts of these authors. The project is organized around four theoretical questions and thus structured into four corresponding phases:
1) a general theoretical analysis of the concept of institution as an event – its a-subjective nature, its empirical and transcendental status, its problematic connection to an Urstiftung, the relationship between the event of the institution and the thereby instituted field;
2) the study of the historical institution, with the aim of elaborating the conception of historicity implied by the very concept of institution;
3) the study of the relationship between institution and culture, with the aim of elaborating a conception of the different symbolic formations as “institutions”;
4) an investigation of the relationship between, on the one hand, symbolic and historical institutions, and, on the other, pre-linguistic and perceptual experience.
The project also implies a series of interdisciplinary connections in the field of social and human sciences, that I will explore with particular regard to the theory of historiography and anthropology.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/sociology/anthropology
  • /humanities/languages and literature/literature - general
  • /humanities/history and archaeology/history

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)


Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 194 046,60
Administrative Contact
Julie Zittel (Ms.)