Spatiality in the Later Heidegger: Turning - Clearing - Letting

Existentia (5-6):405-424 (2006)
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Within the context of Heidegger’s claim that his thinking has moved from the “meaning of being” to the “truth of being” and finally to the “place of being,” this paper examines the “spatial” motifs that become pronounced in his post-1930 attempts to think being apart from temporality. My contention is that his “shift” (Wendung) in thinking was a move beyond his earlier focus upon the project-horizon of the meaning (Sinn) of being, i.e., time, based on the existential hermeneutic of mortality, and instead towards a focus upon the “space”—variously discussed in terms of the open, the clearing, the expanse, the region, etc.—that allows fur such horizonal projection. The very matter of thought that becomes discussed in the 1930s Beiträge as the “turning” (Kehre) of “en-ownment” (Ereignis) involves this clearing or opening of a “space” in the strife of unconcealment-concealment. This in turn underscores the alterity from out of which the emission of the Sinn of being is possible. In the 1940s and ‘50s this spacing becomes developed in terms of a “regionalizing” (Gegnen) in explicit distinction from the “horizon.” I shall also examine the implications for human spatiality, i.e., our receptivity vis-à-vis this alterity of Ereignis or Gegnen, which Heidegger discusses in terms of “letting” or “releasement.”

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John Krummel
Hobart and William Smith Colleges


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