Heidegger and the Issue of Space

Heidegger and the Issue of Space: Thinking on Exilic Grounds

Alejandro A. Vallega
Copyright Date: 2003
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    Heidegger and the Issue of Space
    Book Description:

    As the only full-length treatment in English of spatiality in Martin Heidegger’s work, this book makes an important contribution to Heidegger studies as well as to research on the history of philosophy. More generally, it advances our understanding of philosophy in terms of its "exilic" character, a sense of alterity that becomes apparent when one fully engages the temporality or finitude essential to conceptual determinations. By focusing on Heidegger’s treatment of the classical difficulty of giving conceptual articulation to spatiality, the author discusses how Heidegger’s thought is caught up in and enacts the temporality it uncovers in Being and Time and in his later writings. Ultimately, when understood in this manner, thought is an "exilic" experience—a determination of being that in each case comes to pass in a loss of first principles and origins and, simultaneously, as an opening to conceptual figurations yet to come. The discussion engages such main historical figures as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, and indirectly Husserl, as well as contemporary European and American Continental thought.

    eISBN: 978-0-271-05448-3
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)

    Heidegger’sBeing and Timecalls for the reawakening of the sense of the question of being, a struggle that has been forgotten, covered over in an age rooted in the self-certainty of metaphysics and transcendental philosophies.¹ At the same time, the need for this reengagement occurs out of an intimation of being given by the experience of withdrawal and loss of the sense of being. Furthermore, what is intimated (the question of being) is only that—an intimation that remains to be thought. Heidegger’s project arises, then, from the loss of the sense of being by metaphysical/transcendental philosophy, from an...

  5. Part One: Themes
    • 1 Transgressions: Recalling the Alterity of Beings in Plato and Aristotle
      (pp. 17-56)

      There are many points that make up the beginning ofBeing and Time, but in the first pages of the book Heidegger orients his attempt to regain a sense of the question of being by recalling the thought of Plato and Aristotle. The book’s first sentence is not in German but in ancient Greek, a quote from Plato’sSophist: “delon gar hos humeis men tauta (ti pote boulesthe semainein hopotan on phthengese) palai gignoskete, hemeis de pro tou men oometha nun d’eporekamen.”¹ What is one to make of such a beginning? Why recall Plato and Aristotle, the philosophers who stand...

    • 2 Exilic Thoughts: Alterity and Spatiality in the Project of Being and Time
      (pp. 57-90)

      Throughout the development of Heidegger’s thought spatiality becomes increasingly present in the articulation of the question of being. A change in focus seems to occur in Heidegger’s thinking from his early single emphasis on the temporal horizon of being to his later preoccupation with the spatiality of beings.¹ InBeing and Timethe discussion of being concerns mainly its temporality. Heidegger states in the first page ofBeing and Timethat his project is “the interpretation oftimeas the possible horizon for any understanding whatsoever of being.”² In the 1935-36 lectures that formed the basis for “The Origin of...

  6. Part Two: Scherzi
    • 3 Interruptions: The Twisting Free of Spatiality
      (pp. 93-112)

      The preceding chapters introduced the difficulty of thinking the occurrences or events of beings in their alterity and on exilic grounds, and suggested that, unlike Timaeus’ likely story or Aristotle’slogos apophantikos, Heidegger’s understanding of language and thought inBeing and Timeopens a new possibility for engaging and thinking out of the alterity of thought. As indicated in Chapter 2, this opening requires the interruption of the metaphysical and transcendental interpretation of occurrences of beings in terms of objective and ideal presence and unchanging origins. Heidegger’s thought also requires a break in the assertive language that sustains and is...

    • 4 Failure, Loss, Alterity: Being and Time and Spatiality
      (pp. 113-130)

      As the last chapter indicated, Heidegger’s critique of Descartes’ ontology releases spatiality from its traditional interpretations in terms of objective and ideal presence, and makes a move toward the recovery of the phenomena of the world and spatiality. This happens in light of a certain exilic aspect inherent in the very event of Heidegger’s thought in that critique—i.e., in that after Heidegger’s critique neither the metaphysical nor the transcendental grounds of the tradition can be taken as the basis for Heidegger’s thought, and in that the engagement of the phenomena remains to be accomplished. Beginning, then, from Heidegger’s critique...

    • 5 Enactments of Alterity: Heidegger’s “Translation” of Spatiality
      (pp. 131-146)

      Throughout this work spatiality appears as a figuration of the alterity of events of beings and events of thought. As such, the issue of spatiality bears the possibility of an opening toward a thought that will engage the occurrences of beings and their events and passages, in their alterity and on exilic grounds. In Chapter 1 the logos is discussed in terms of its limited function in Plato and Aristotle, i.e., as a mimetic tool for the representation of ever-present and unchanging ideas, essences, or first principles, a function that limits language to the service of entities present at hand...

    • 6 Exilic Passages: Dasein’s Being-Toward-Death
      (pp. 147-162)

      The last three chapters have traced the figure of the alterity and exilic character of Heidegger’s thought by engaging specific moments in his discourse on the temporality of the disclosedness of the occurrences or events of beings. In these discussions spatiality appears as a figure of alterity and exilic grounds; it appears as an operative difficulty that continues to interrupt Heidegger’s discourse. Throughout these chapters, the discussion of Heidegger’s thought inBeing and Timeis bilateral: on the one hand, it concerns what Heidegger says, and follow closely the structural aspects of his analysis of dasein in light of his...

  7. Part Three: Fugue
    • 7 Concrete Passages: Alterity and Exilic Thought in Heidegger’s Later Work
      (pp. 165-188)

      The preceding series of encounters with Heidegger’s thought inBeing and Timeindicates that this work may be read as a double passage: Heidegger’s book may be read first as the beginning of a transformative reappropriation of metaphysical and transcendental traditions; and second as a work that in its passage overcomes its very event, as it leads Heidegger toward another path of thought. In this double passage, Heidegger’s thought enacts its alterity and points to its exilic character. These aspects ofBeing and Timeare engaged and traced through the way in which the figure of spatiality is operative in...

  8. Bibliography
    (pp. 189-196)
  9. Index
    (pp. 197-202)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 203-203)