Call for Papers

Call for Papers
Bachelard Studies
Bachelardian studies
Studi Bachelardiani
Imagination, language, action: the relationship between Gaston Bachelard and Paul Ricœur
Directed by Cristina Henrique da Costa (

A number of recent works seem to indicate that it is possible, even desirable, to bring the two philosophers Gaston Bachelard and Paul Ricœur closer together. For example, Jean-Luc Amalric's Paul Ricœur, l'imagination vive, a follow-up to his pioneering doctoral thesis, highlights the centrality of imagination in Ricœur’s philosophy of action, and shows how, from the Philosophie de la volonté onwards, a close relationship between Ricœur and Bachelard develops around the question of linguistic creativity

Similarly, in his 2012 book Les puissances de l'imagination, Jean-Philippe Pierron makes much of Bachelardian and Ricœurian concepts. He argues that imagination, by linking us poetically to the world, is also the faculty of practical possibility and human action.

Spurred on by these and other works, it turns out that the rapprochement between Bachelard and Ricoeur goes beyond the simple comparison of texts, for it allows us to glimpse new directions for certain major axes of contemporary philosophical research: the theory of imagination, ethics, the place of perception in its relationship to reality, or the articulation between freedom and truth.

Such rapprochement also provides a more precise critical philosophical perspective for certain multidisciplinary research areas, and makes it easier to tackle certain problems. For example, the relationship between language and the visual image, or between the word, the sentence, and narrative. This rapprochement also provides an opportunity to clarify the meaning of the sacred, to assign an original place to myth and symbols, to reflect on the importance of literature in the production of linguistic meaning, to take charge of the objectification of culture and so on.

Insofar as both these philosophers borrowed from phenomenology while also deploying hermeneutic tools, it seems remarkable to note how the relations between the second Bachelard (from 1938, date of the publication of La psychanalyse du feu) and the first Ricoeur (until 1985, date of the complete publication of the Time and Narrative trilogy) are likely to create a space in which other contemporary thinkers, such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Mircea Eliade, Henri Corbin and Gilbert Durand, can address a number of fundamental ethical, aesthetic and ontological issues.

If such a comparison is a priori indisputably justified by the fact that Ricoeur, in his own texts, often refers to Bachelard to show his agreement with the latter's ideas and to express his indebtedness—particularly in La symbolique du mal and in La métaphore vive, but also in L'imagination dans le discours et dans l'action (an article reprinted in Du texte à l'action)—he never produced a « hermeneutic » specifically devoted to Bachelard’s work, Ricoeur’s accustomed approach when it came to marking his position in relation to his many interlocutors, philosophers and otherwise.

It remains to be seen, then, to what extent Ricoeur's testimony enables us to reach a root common to both thinkers, and to what extent conversely Bachelard's text offers points of resistance to Ricoeur, or even exposes divergences that may not yet have been sufficiently thought through.

For its issue 2, to be published in 2024, Bachelard Studies (Études bachelardiennes) will therefore insist on the fruitfulness of such a rapprochement in order to :

  • Bring to light concerns shared by Bachelard and Ricoeur, notably on the question of language creativity and the relationship between the poetic and the practical.
  • Highlight the productivity of a cross-reading, in which Ricoeur's philosophical elaboration opens up promising conceptual perspectives for Bachelard's text, and in which, conversely, Bachelard's philosophical inventiveness sheds light on decisive articulations of Ricoeurian
  • Confront the possible differences between these two thinkers, whether simply lexical (e.g., image or metaphor? reading or hermeneutics?), more particularly conceptual (e.g., what about the problem of time and space for each of the two philosophers?), or whether they more radically engage distinct ways of conceiving philosophical writing, the subject's relationship to the body and the world, the meaning of matter, the place of the poetic imagination in philosophy, and finally the role of history, historical epistemology, religion, theology or anthropology in the elaboration of the concept of


Submission Standards for English-language Texts:

- Texts will be submitted to the following online address:

- Texts received will be submitted for a double-blind peer review.

- The Author may propose an article of a maximum of 7,000 words in English for the sections on The Letter or Spirit, accompanied by an Abstract (150 words) and followed by five keywords in English.

- The Author may also propose a review of a maximum of 1,400 words in French.

- Manuscripts submitted anonymously must be uploaded no later than the 31th of May 2024 in .doc format directly from the site, with a separate document containing the author’s contact details (CV and affiliation).

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission’s compliance with the editorial norms: