philosophical space

According to Egyptian myth, space only came into being when the god of air, Shu, parted the earth from the sky by stepping between them. The creation of a vast gap between earth and sky was called chaos in Hesiod's Cosmogony. In the Tao Teh Ching, Lao Tzu addressed the role, in fact the superiority of the contained over the container, of the space within, of the immaterial. 

The first Western formulation of the concept of space is to be found in Plato's Timaeus, in which Pl ato describes both matter and space. He identifies space with air, which along with earth, fire, and water are the four constituents of the world. Aristotle criticized Plato's notions and proposed instead a theory of place a ( topos). In the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the idea of place became linked to the idea of God: as (holy)place, as ubiquitous. Space is in God but God is not in space. (God is also identified with light).

Is space a substance? Or is space a form

Well before Kant, Leibniz had already described space in its most universal form as "the possibility of coexistence." For Leibniz, "Space is indeed something, but just as time is; each is a general order of things. Space is the order of coexistences, and time is the order of successive existences. They are veritable things, but they are ideal ones, like number." (quoted in Cassirer, The Problem of Knowledge, p.35)

According the Kant, the idea of space, a priori, is that of a unity. In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant defined space as "the form of all phenomena of the external sense, that is, the subjective condition of the sensibility, under which alone external intuition is possible." (p.26) It is a pure, a priori , intuition (and the only subjective representation from which we can deduce synthetical propositions a priori ). (for a critique see visualization) For Kant the predicate of space is only applicable to things insofar as they appear to us (as phenomena). So space is real (objectively valid) in regard to all of which can be presented to us as objects, but it is ideal in relation to things themselves. So the transcendental conception of phenomena in space is a critical admonition that, in general, nothing which is intuited in space is a thing in itself, and that space is not a form which belongs as property to things; but that objects are quite unknown to us in themselves, and what we call outward objects, are nothing else but mere representations of our sensibility, whose form is space, but whose real correlate, the thing itself, is not known by these representations. If space was, for Kant, the a priori condition of external appearance, time was the formal a priori condition of all apperances whatsoever. 

(See Kant's Copernican Revolution)

With the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the mathematical truth of geometry and the a priori status of space no longer seemed assured. (see scientific space.) 

see science / philosophy. 

What are the spaces of possiblity for theories? Is there a " homogeneous space of knowledge" in which the local is included in the global, where there is always a path from one local configuration to another? This is the space of universal truth that differs from the spaces of a kind of truth that funtions only in the context of local pockets, a truth that is always local, distributed haphazardly in a plurality of spaces, with regional epistemologies. 

For a critique of "mental space" see social space

In describing Foucault as Archivist (a reading of The Archaeology of Knowledge) Gilles Deleuze quotes Pierre Boulez' decription of Anton Webern: "He created a new dimension, which we might call a diagonal dimension, a sort of distribution of points, groups or figures that no longer act simply as an abstract framework but actually exist in space." Deleuze is usually considered to be a Neo-Kantian, but what is the relation of a such a statement to the Kantian distinction between things as they present themselves to us and things in themselves? Deleuze pursues the analogy to Webern's "Diagonal dimension" in his description of Foucault's focus on statements. (and discursive formations) For Deleuze, the statement "like Bergsonian memory ...preserves itself within its own space and continues to exist while this space endures or is reconsituted." (Foucault, p.4) For Deleuze, three different realms of space may encircle any statement: the collateral, or associative space formed by a family of statements, the correlative space established by the variable relationships within the statement to subjects, objects, and concepts, and finally to the extrinsic complementary space of non-discursive formations. "But in each case 'one speaks' in a kind of anonymous murmur that appears in a different guise on each occasion."

Reyner Banham describes the Barcelona Pavilion as "a mode of occupying space that is strictly Elementarist," articulating a concept of space as a measurable continuum, through the distribution of horizontal and vertical surfaces. (Theory and Design in the First Machine Age, p. 322)

cf smooth/striated