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Hardcover | $38.00 Short | £26.95 | ISBN: 9780262134705 | 424 pp. | 6 x 9 in | December 2006
Paperback | $23.00 Short | £15.95 | ISBN: 9780262633680 | 424 pp. | 6 x 9 in | August 2008

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Heidegger's Topology

Being, Place, World


This groundbreaking inquiry into the centrality of place in Martin Heidegger's thinking offers not only an illuminating reading of Heidegger's thought but a detailed investigation into the way in which the concept of place relates to core philosophical issues. In Heidegger's Topology, Jeff Malpas argues that an engagement with place, explicit in Heidegger's later work, informs Heidegger's thought as a whole. What guides Heidegger's thinking, Malpas writes, is a conception of philosophy's starting point: our finding ourselves already "there," situated in the world, in "place." Heidegger's concepts of being and place, he argues, are inextricably bound together.

Malpas follows the development of Heidegger's topology through three stages: the early period of the 1910s and 1920s, through Being and Time, centered on the "meaning of being"; the middle period of the 1930s into the 1940s, centered on the "truth of being"; and the late period from the mid-1940s on, when the "place of being" comes to the fore. (Malpas also challenges the widely repeated arguments that link Heidegger's notions of place and belonging to his entanglement with Nazism.) The significance of Heidegger as a thinker of place, Malpas claims, lies not only in Heidegger's own investigations but also in the way that spatial and topographic thinking has flowed from Heidegger's work into that of other key thinkers of the past 60 years.

About the Author

Jeff Malpas is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tasmania. He is the author of Heidegger’s Topology: Being, Place, World (MIT Press, 2007).


"Malpas's work opens up new ways to read Heidegger (considered for too long the philosopher of time) by underscoring the centrality of place and its many implications for understanding our world, our environment, and ourselves.", John Panteleimon Manoussakis, Journal of the History of Philosophy


"This is a brilliant book that will change the entire field of Heidegger studies. It makes a deeply cogent and extremely eloquent case for regarding place as the underlying thread of Heidegger's entire philosophical development, while at the same time advancing the argument for considering place to be a sine qua non in philosophical analysis more generally."
Edward S. Casey, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Stony Brook University

"In Heidegger's Topology, Malpas argues convincingly that, throughout Heidegger's fifty-three-year philosophical career, his central focus was realizing more and more profoundly that human being is always and already human being situated in place. He effectively demonstrates how this 'emplacement' became, for Heidegger, the central answer to the question of how anything, including human being, can exist and be the thing it is. In carefully explicating the shifting conceptual meaning of place and emplacement in Heidegger's writings, Malpas provides an important philosophical addition to the growing body of academic and applied research in 'place studies.'"
David Seamon, Department of Architecture, Kansas State University, and editor, Environmental and Architectural Phenomenology

"What marks the possibility of a genuine philosophical adventure is when a body of work is illuminated in ways that are not simply original but also generative of new work. Such would be a description of Malpas's approach to Heidegger. Putting to one side the usual pieties that surround Heidegger's work and giving priority to topology and place, Malpas will make any reader of Heidegger think again. What emerges is a Heidegger whose work forms an integral part of a philosophical geography. As such, terms such as 'life.''mortality,' and the 'environment'—words with a real exigency—come to acquire genuine philosophical force. This is a book that combines a passionate commitment to scholarship with an insistence on demonstrating the relevance of philosophy in a dramatically new way."
Andrew Benjamin, Professor of Critical Theory in Design and Architecture, University of Technology, Sydney