Monday, July 16, 2012
In NDPR, Fran├žois Raffoul reviews Jeff Malpas's Heidegger and the Thinking of Place: Explorations in the Topology of Being.
A topological thinking would pay attention to the limited, bounded, that is, placed, character of existence and experience. Indeed, as Malpas reminds us (89-90), it was Heidegger who conceived of place in terms of limit, as in this passage from "Building Dwelling Thinking" where Heidegger explained that, "A space is something that has been spaced or made room for, something that is cleared and free, namely within a boundary, Greek peras. A boundary is not that at which something stops but, as the Greek recognized, the boundary is that from which something begins its presencing." Heidegger then refers to the essential role of the limit, adding that space essentially includes the horismos, the horizon, the boundary, and that "space is in essence that for which room has been made, that which is let into its bounds" (GA 7, 156/PLT, 152, tr. slightly modified, my emphasis, cited, 89-90). Further, throughout the book, Malpas claims that existence is always a being in place, as for instance when he writes that "dwelling is the mode of human being, so human being is essentially a being in place, just as it is also a being in the world" (63). In fact, the claim is even more radical, as Malpas states that to be is to be in place: "To be is to be in place, and to be a phenomenon, in appearing, is similarly to be placed, or, as one might say, to take place" (46).
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