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Heidegger and the Issue of Space

Thinking on Exilic Grounds

Alejandro A. Vallega

Publication Year: 2003

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.

Published by: Penn State University Press

Series: American and European Philosophy

Front Cover

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Copyright Page

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-xii

Exile is a term I came to know long after my exilic experience began. As I remember, my first encounter with such experience was simple and strange. I was nine years old when, together with my family, I left the world I had known as we fled from fascism and a military regime. One day we closed the door of our home in Chile, took one suitcase each (we...

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pp. 1-14

Heidegger’s Being and Time calls 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...

Part One: Themes

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1. Transgressions: Recalling the Alterity of Beings in Plato and Aristotle

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pp. 17-56

There are many points that make up the beginning of Being 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’s Sophist: “delon gar hos humeis men tauta...

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2. Exilic Thoughts: Alterity and Spatiality in the Project of Being and Time

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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 In Being and Time the discussion of being...

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Part Two: Scherzi

The first section introduced a series of themes intrinsic to the question of being, to the occurrences or events of beings, and to the manifestations of thought. Among them were the following: the issue of spatiality; this issue as figure of the alterity and exilic character of events of beings and of thought; the withdrawal and concealing operative in the disclosedness...

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3. Interruptions: The Twisting Free of Spatiality

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pp. 93-111

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’s logos apophantikos, Heidegger’s understanding of language and thought in Being and Time opens a new possibility for engaging and thinking out of the alterity...

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4. Failure, Loss, Alterity: Being and Time and Spatiality

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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...

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5. Enactments of Alterity: Heidegger’s “Translation” of Spatiality

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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...

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6. Exilic Passages: Dasein’s Being-Toward-Death

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pp. 147-161

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...

Part Three: Fugue

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7. Concrete Passages: Alterity and Exilic Thought in Heidegger’s Later Work

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pp. 165-187

The preceding series of encounters with Heidegger’s thought in Being and Time indicates 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...


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pp. 189-196


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pp. 197-202

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780271052823
E-ISBN-10: 0271052821
Print-ISBN-13: 9780271028088
Print-ISBN-10: 0271028084

Page Count: 216
Publication Year: 2003

Series Title: American and European Philosophy
Devoted to the contemporary development of American and European philosophy in the pragmatic and Continental traditions, American and European Philosophy gives expression to uniquely American thought that deepens and advances these traditions and that arises from their mutual encounters. The series will focus on new interpretations of philosophers and philosophical movements within these traditions, original contributions to European or American thought, and issues that arise through the mutual influence of American and European philosophers.

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