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“The War Has Taken Place”

« La guerre a [eu] lieu »

« C’è stata la guerra »

« Chiasmi International » - Numéro 25

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Published on Monday, November 14, 2022 by Lucie Choupaut


Dans son article intitulé « La guerre a eu lieu », paru dans le premier numéro des Temps modernes au lendemain du second conflit mondial, Maurice Merleau-Ponty décrivait différents aspects caractérisant la vie d’avant-guerre en France face à la possibilité d’un conflit déclenché par l’expansionnisme allemand : insouciance, incrédulité, méfiance envers « la politique », individualisme. En outre, il y soulignait les différentes attitudes qui avaient mûri sous l’occupation nazie (impossibilité de « rester neutres », nouvelle idée – non plus individualiste – de la liberté, engagement), tout en identifiant leurs conséquences sur les temps à venir (conscience du poids de l’histoire, des institutions, « de nos rapports multiples avec autrui et avec le monde »). Merleau-Ponty nous léguait ainsi des réflexions précieuses que nous sommes sollicités à reprendre et réélaborer aujourd’hui à l’aune de la guerre en Ukraine déclenchée par l’invasion russe unanimement et légitimement condamnée.



In his article entitled “The War Has Taken Place,” which appeared in the first issue of Les Temps Modernes after the Second World War, Maurice Merleau-Ponty described various aspects characterizing pre-war life in France, when it faced the possibility of a conflict triggered by German expansionism: recklessness, disbelief, distrust of “politics,” individualism. In addition, he underscored the different attitudes that grew under Nazi occupation (the impossibility of “remaining neutral,” a new idea - no longer individualistic - of freedom, of commitment), while identifying their consequences for the years to come (awareness of the weight of history, of institutions, “of our multiple relationships with others and with the world”).

Merleau-Ponty has thus given us some valuable reflections, which we are asked to take up and re-elaborate today, in light of the war in Ukraine, which was brought about by a unanimously and legitimately condemned Russian invasion. Among these reflections, three themes seem to us to be particularly urgent to develop in connection with the current war and its unprecedented characteristics, both at the level of the conflict on Ukrainian territory itself and in its resonances within the European and global population.

It is first a matter of questioning this wait-and-see attitude, indifference, disbelief and delusion to which both Western (particularly European) governments and their populations adhere, refusing to believe in an open war even when nothing has been successful in avoiding the latent conflict between Ukraine and Russia since the Minsk II agreement in 2015.  This refusal currently persists for many who refuse the direct and lasting consequences of the war and are far from the frontline.

In connection with this first question, we would like to develop the question of the renewal of the feeling of the weight of history, which already resurfaced with the September 11th, 2001 attacks, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the climate emergency. Once again, history manifests itself, refuses to “finish,” as one might have otherwise thought, by meaningfully conditioning the existences and consciences of those individuals who have once again been assigned to the role of its real “subjects.” We must thus reformulate Merleau-Ponty’s famous statement in his article, that, although we act as if we have learned history, in fact we have forgotten it and need to learn it anew.

In this way, we would finally like to take up an investigation of the phrase from “The War Has Taken Place,” “progressive awareness of our multiple relationships with others and the world,” by examining the transformations following the Russian invasion of the active and passive participation in the war effort through a digital space – a crucial issue in the logistics of perception of the conflict.  Whether it is indeed a question of financing the purchase of drones by the Ukrainians through crowdfunding platforms, reading the news or commenting on it through media, disseminating false news or a belief in shared information, we are all caught up in the logistics of a perception that happens to be, as Paul Virilio explains, and relying on Merleau-Ponty in particular, the connective tissue of any war, the importance and scale of which has been in our contemporary times reshaped by the digital.

Submission guidelines

Abstracts (4000 characters maximum) written in French, English or Italian, should be submitted to Mauro Carbone (Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3: mauro.carbone@univ-lyon3.fr) and Stanislas de Courville (Université Paris 8 Vincennes - Saint-Denis: stanislasdecourville@gmail.com)

by November 20, 2022

and be accompanied by brief biobibliographies of the author(s). Then, the proposals selected after evaluation will have to be developed and sent before February 15, 2023 on the basis of the editorial standards of Chiasmi International to allow their publication in issue 25 of the journal, the publication of which is scheduled for the end of 2023.

Information for authors

A peer-reviewed academic journal, Chiasmi International publishes original research on or inspired by the thought of the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty. The contributions submitted to Chiasmi International must be original, with no simultaneous submission to other periodicals.

All submissions are subject to double blind peer-review and, if accepted, authors may be required to make revisions, based on feedback from the reviewers.

The journal welcomes submissions in French, English, and Italian.

Extension limits:

  • Abstract proposal: 4.000 signs, spaces included
  • Articles: 40.000 characters, spaces included
  • Abstract: 100 to 200 words in the language of the submission


  • Mauro Carbone (Université “Jean Moulin” Lyon 3), mauro.carbone@univ-lyon3.fr
  • Galen Johnson (University of Rhode Island), gjohnson@uri.edu
  • Federico Leoni (Università degli Studi di Verona), federico.leoni@univr.it
  • Ted Toadvine (Pennsylvania State University), tat30@psu.edu

Editorial board

Renaud Barbaras (Université Paris-I, cofounder, former coeditor), Rudolf Bernet (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Étienne Bimbenet (Université Bordeaux Montaigne), Patrick Burke (Seattle University), Wanderley Cardoso de Oliveira (Universidade de São João del Rei, Minas Gerais), Edward S. Casey (Stony Brook University), JeanFrançois Courtine (Université Paris-IV-Sorbonne), Simon Critchley (New School for Social Research), Pierre Dalla Vigna (Università degli Studi dell’Insubria), Françoise Dastur (Université de Nice), Fred Evans (Duquesne University), Bernard Flynn (New School for Social Research), Elio Franzini (Università degli Studi di Milano), Paolo Gambazzi (Università degli Studi di Verona), Jacques Garelli (Université d’Amiens †), Theodore Geraets (University of Ottawa †), Koji Hirose (Université de Tsukuba), Giovanni Invitto (Università degli Studi di Lecce), Dominique Janicaud (Université de Nice †), Kwok-Ying Lau (The Chinese University of Hong Kong), Leonard Lawlor (Pennsylvania State University, cofounder, former coeditor), Enrica Lisciani-Petrini (Università degli Studi di Salerno), Sandro Mancini (Università degli Studi di Palermo), Isabel Matos Dias (Universidade de Lisboa), Shȏichi Matsuba (Université de Kobeshi-kango), David Morris (Concordia University), Mario Teodoro Ramírez Cobián (Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hildalgo), Pierre Rodrigo (Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, former coeditor), Emmanuel de Saint Aubert (CNRS, “Archives Husserl”, E.N.S.-Paris), Davide Scarso (Universidade Nova de Lisboa), Carlo Sini (Università degli Studi Milano), Hugh J. Silverman (Stony Brook University †), Anthony J. Steinbock (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale), Jacques Taminiaux (Université Catholique de Louvain †), Luca Vanzago (Università degli Studi di Pavia), Bernhard Waldenfels (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), Gail Weiss (George Washington University).


  • Sunday, November 20, 2022


  • Merleau-Ponty, guerre, conflit, expansionnisme


  • Stanislas De Courville
    courriel : stanislasdecourville [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Mauro Carbone
    courriel : mauro [dot] carbone [at] univ-lyon3 [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Caignard Gael
    courriel : gael [dot] caignard [at] univ-lyon3 [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« “The War Has Taken Place” », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, November 14, 2022, https://calenda.org/1026394

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