By Jeff Malpas
Whereas the "sense of position" is a well-recognized topic in poetry and artwork, philosophers have more often than not given very little realization to put and the human relation to put. Jeff Malpas seeks to treatment this by way of advancing an account of the character and value of position as a fancy yet unitary constitution that encompasses self and different, house and time, subjectivity and objectivity. He argues that our relation to put derives from the very nature of human idea, event and identification as tested in and during position.
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Extra info for Place and Experience: A Philosophical Topography
Place and experience concept. Even when we think of a place in very basic terms as just a particular position – the position in which I am now located, here on this spot – that idea typically carries with it some idea of the place, the spot, as nevertheless possessed of enough breadth and space so as to allow us to conceive of ourselves, our very bodies, as located in that place, and as permitting us to view the world from it and so, within it, to move ourselves in order to obtain such views.
The claim that ‘place’ can remain only a metaphor in this context is simply a reassertion of a particular and fairly narrow view of the nature of place – a reassertion that seems to ill-accord with the complex character of the concept. The insistence on the idea of separating oﬀ a metaphorical from literal usage here, and giving priority to the literal over the metaphoric, is also indicative, moreover, of a particular style of philosophical approach – one that sees philosophical inquiry as a search that is generally engaged in reducing complex structures to concatenations of more simple components and in which understanding is primarily a matter of understanding such elementary components in separation from one another rather than from the point of view of the larger structure of which they are part.
On this, see especially Casey’s discussion in The Fate of Place, pp. ix–xi, –. The neglect of place is not merely a feature of philosophical theory – Heidegger, for instance, views it as directly related to the rise of a certain ‘technological’ attitude towards the world (see ‘The Question Concerning Technology’, in The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, trans. William Lovitt (New York: Harper & Row, )). There is an important question to address concerning the nature and structure of place in the face of modern technological and social changes – unfortunately, it is too important and too large a question for me to be able to take up in the space available here and one that I must therefore postpone to another occasion.
Place and Experience: A Philosophical Topography by Jeff Malpas