Time, event, place : Heidegger on spatiality

Cramm, Craig (1999) Time, event, place : Heidegger on spatiality. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis examines Martin Heidegger's philosophy of spatiality. The term "spatiality" is inclusive of Heidegger's thinking on "space" and "place", and their related structures. The complex continuity and importance of Heidegger's thinking on spatiality will be examined in this thesis. -- The continuity and change of Heidegger's thinking on spatiality throughout his career is an often neglected aspect of Heidegger's work. But a close examination of spatiality provides a depth to Heidegger's philosophy that is often neglected in commentaries taken up with other themes of his philosophy, i.e., time, Being, event and language. -- Why? -- My claim is that Heidegger's thinking on spatiality underlies and provides the justification for, the changes in direction in his thinking throughout his career. However, this is not easily seen. In the majority of Heidegger's writings after Being and Time, thinking on spatiality is embedded in his analyses of a variety of topics, i.e., art, truth, poetry, ethics, language and event. Heidegger does not acknowledge that his thinking is guided by a spatial preoccupation or why this is so. -- This thesis will examine how the importance of spatial thinking develops in Heidegger's early philosophy; how his conception of "place" and "space" operates and changes in his middle period; and how Heidegger examines spatiality in his late writings. The success of this analysis depends on a demonstration of four propositions: -- 1. Heidegger deconstructs the cognitive subject by demonstrating that the subject is really the aesthetic operation of time. Heidegger attempts to found metaphysics on the hegemony of time ontology. -- 2. Heidegger fails to demonstrate that spatiality can be derived from time or subordinated to time. Time alone cannot found an ontology of Dasem. Therefore metaphysics on a purely temporal ground is untenable. -- 3. Because Heidegger's time-hegemonic project for metaphysics wrecks itself on the question of spatiality, Heidegger alters the direction of his thinking towards spatiality. Evidence for this claim is scattered throughout his writings from the late 1920's onward. -- 4. In Heidegger's late writings, talk of time as hegemonic or directive of spatiality disappears. Heidegger moves to Place as the content of his thinking. -- II. -- Current culture appears to be preoccupied with spatiality. Prominent thinkers from a wide assortment of traditions and fields have recently taken up examinations of spatiality. Some current terms used in spatiality thinking include: 'nomadology', 'geophilosophy', and 'deterritorialization' (Deleuze and Guattari); 'heterotopoi' (Foucault); 'human geography' (Buttimer); 'the envelope (lrigaray); 'topo-nomology' (Derrida); 'divine places' (Nancy); 'behavior in its place' (Meyrowitz); 'enclaves' (Lyotard); 'delocalization of the local', 'cyberspace', and 'virtual space'; 'Virilio'; and 'sacred space' (Eliade). Michel Foucault, in "Of Other Spaces," says: -- The present epoch will perhaps be above all the epoch of space. ... The anxiety of our era has to do fundamentally with space, no doubt a great deal more than with time. -- Given the current preoccupation with spatiality in contemporary thinking, it is surprising that examinations of Heidegger's conception of spatiality are so few (at least in the anglo-american world) and are largely limited to Being and Time or to later 'topology'. When compared to the mammoth number of articles and books on Heidegger's notion of time and other themes, the current literature on spatiality looks very small indeed. -- The majority of these writings miss the influence that Heidegger's examination of spatiality has on his thinking throughout his career. If this thesis is intended to demonstrate anything at all, it is this: Heidegger's thinking on spatiality is not a side issue for Heideggerian criticism but one of the central problems of his thinking. Given the current preoccupation with spatiality in culture, Heidegger's thinking on "space" and "place" is a major mine of thought that is characteristically Heideggerian, rich and original.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9364
Item ID: 9364
Additional Information: Bibliography: pages 127-137.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Heidegger, Martin, 1889-1976; Space and time; Place (Philosophy)

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