Capturing Space. Aging, (Dis-)Placement, or Making Room

  • Christina SchüesEmail author
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 25)


Aging is rarely considered in relation to spatial concepts. However, a closer look reveals that the concepts of space and place, living and dwelling are essential to questions about the life and care of older people. The spatiality of one’s own being, the possibility of capturing space for oneself and of moving from place to place, is crucial to human life – not only for a young person, but especially, and in a more existential way, for someone older. From an anthropological perspective, the spatial dimension of aging appears particularly relevant for the constitution of the self, its borders, limitations, and bodily vulnerabilities, as well as for its relations to and treatment by others. In this contribution, I argue that a focus on space can reveal a particular dependency on the surrounding world, on the bodily inhabitation of space, and on other people’s view.


  1. Arendt, H. (1958). The human condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Beauvoir, S. de (1996). The coming of age (P. O’Brian, Trans.). New York: Putnam’s Sons.Google Scholar
  3. Bollnow, O. F. (2004). Mensch und Raum. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.Google Scholar
  4. Fielding, H. (2014). The poetry of habit: Beauvoir and Merleau-Ponty on aging embodiment. In S. Stoller (Ed.), Simone de Beauvoir’s philosophy of age: Gender, ethics, and time (pp. 69–82). Berlin: De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  5. Guzzoni, U. (2017). Wohnen und Wandern. Munich: Alber.Google Scholar
  6. Heidegger, M. (1993). Building, dwelling, thinking. In D. F. Krell (Ed.), Basic writings (pp. 343–364). New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  7. Heidegger, M. (1996). Being and time (J. Stambaugh, Trans.). Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  8. Merleau-Ponty, M. (2014). Phenomenology of perception (D. A. Landes, Trans.). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Rodier, K. (2014). Are poetic habits particular to the aged? Comment on Helen A. Fielding. In S. Stoller (Ed.), Simone de Beauvoir’s philosophy of age: Gender, ethics, and time (pp. 83–85). Berlin: De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  10. Schües, C. (2014a). Die Zeitsensibilität der Menschen und die Zeitregime des Alterns. Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie, 1(1), 289–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Schües, C. (2014b). Age and future: Phenomenological paths of optimism. In S. Stoller (Ed.), Simone de Beauvoir’s philosophy of age: Gender, ethics, and time (pp. 215–230). Berlin: De Gruyter.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LuebeckLuebeckGermany

Personalised recommendations