2023-02Thematic Section
Ruins: Between Past and Present, Between Culture and Nature


The main question of the essay is: do ruins need a new definition?
Ruins are not only destroyed architecture, but also everything that has been associated with it in the process of life. From the perspective of the question, the concept of ruins should be understood much broader than just architecturally, and they should be assigned not to the past but to the present, or rather between past and present. If we consider ruins from the standpoint which situates them between culture and nature, there opens up another opportunity: here ruins are found on the juncture of nature and culture, becoming a natureculture hybrid. Here, degradation encompasses the cultural sense in the first place and the expectations it involves, but not from the perspective of nature. The order of nature translates into a new “life” of the ruin, which is attributed a new functionality, subordinated to other – non-anthropocentric – goals and values.
Concluding, ruins require a new approach and a new definition that does not condemn them to degradation, but sees hope in the revitalizing forces of nature that ensure for them a new status and a different ontological significance.


ruins, ruination, nature, culture, Simmel, hope, ontological significance

How to cite:

Frydryczak, Beata. “Ruins: Between Past and Present, Between Culture and Nature.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 7, no. 2 (2023):  9-16. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2023.0011.


Beata Frydryczak
Institute of European Culture in Gniezno, Adam Mickiewicz University
Kostrzewskiego 5-7, 62-200 Gniezno, Poland


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