The Space Spaces: From the Analytic of the Open to the Topology of the Site in Heideggerian Philosophy

Chapter
Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 39)

Abstract

The criticism against the concept of space meant as extension belonging to the traditional western philosophy can be found in Heidegger’s thought within a strong and convincing argumentative framework. In spite of the undisputed dominance of the question about time, it is not possible understanding the Heideggerian work without arguing even a philosophy of space. This paper will discuss the several fundamental passages with which Heidegger draws attention to the space. He starts from a phenomenological-transcendental perspective, which it is possible to find in the concept of space as Open that defines a new relationship between subjectivity and world. Space is not a container that holds something and not even a place hold in something else. Therefore, space does not exist without a world: space is not something that can be measured, but the dimension in which we live in our being in the world. In such way a new state of subjectivity as Dasein/Being-in-the-world can be developed. In the famous essay about the origin of the work of art a first rupture happens: Heidegger shifts his attention from the ontic-ontological relationship between subjectivity and world to the fully ontological relationship between world and earth. To look into this question the German philosopher needs to go against the theoreticistic point of view in order to find in the artistic experience the possibility to leave every subjectivism. The concept of world is no longer enough to understand the identity of space because it assures only the openness: according to Heidegger truth is a struggle of openness and concealment, between world and earth. The work of art—in its highest expression as a Greek temple—reveals what space really is: openness does not exist without a concealment, as well as a manifesting world cannot exist without a retracting earth. Only on this basis it is possible to understand the famous thesis about the dwelling and the building that has been analyzed in the 1950s, i.e. the priority of the dwelling as compared to the building. In this way, the relationship between subject and object has been finally overcame, because the subjectivity is no more an entity dominating over the world and the worldly objects, but a dimension always open in a context of sense. The space can no longer be thought outside a world and its contrast with the earth. Only between world and earth, can disclosure the space that we are. As already in the essay on the origin of the work of art, even in the essays of the 60s Heidegger reaches a new concept of space through the dimension of art. This leads to the fundamental thesis der Raum räumt, the space spaces: a tautology that is not theoreticistic, but pragmatic, because it indicates the inner pragmaticity of the making-event of the event. The space is not a state, but an activity, a dynamic openness, Raum is not a quantitative parameter, but an essential event, it is not something measurable, but something primary that happens. Heidegger tries to remove the metaphysical fundament to the concept of space thanks to the concept of event. This is the main purpose of the whole topology of the site, with which the German philosopher has tried to think an authentic concept of space, out of both metaphysical and scientific point of view.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy Section, Department of HumanitiesUniversity of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly

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