The Sacred Place: A Morphodynamic Hypothesis for the Foundation of Human Settlement

Gaëtan Desmarais


The article develops a morphodynamic hypothesis concerning the processes of production and perception of socio-cultural significations as a fundamental dimension which intervenes in the foundation of human settlement. Starting with Gilles Ritchot's concept of "vacuum", the article reassesses the propositions made by Jean Petitot which synthetize two fundamental semiotic theories: one by Algirdas Julien Greimas and the other by René Thorn. The article also retakes the René Girard's theory of the mimetic desire and the victimary mechanism in order to precise the nature of the dynamic process which operates the spatial investment and the affective perception of socio-cultural significations. This leads to a more rigourous definition of the "vacuum", specifically its role in the foundation of human settlement and the morphological structuration of geographical space.

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