The Fate of Place: A Philosophical History

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University of California Press, Feb 28, 1997 - Philosophy - 495 pages
In this imaginative and comprehensive study, Edward Casey, one of the most incisive interpreters of the Continental philosophical tradition, offers a philosophical history of the evolving conceptualizations of place and space in Western thought. Not merely a presentation of the ideas of other philosophers, The Fate of Place is acutely sensitive to silences, absences, and missed opportunities in the complex history of philosophical approaches to space and place. A central theme is the increasing neglect of place in favor of space from the seventh century A.D. onward, amounting to the virtual exclusion of place by the end of the eighteenth century.

Casey begins with mythological and religious creation stories and the theories of Plato and Aristotle and then explores the heritage of Neoplatonic, medieval, and Renaissance speculations about space. He presents an impressive history of the birth of modern spatial conceptions in the writings of Newton, Descartes, Leibniz, and Kant and delineates the evolution of twentieth-century phenomenological approaches in the work of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Bachelard, and Heidegger. In the book's final section, Casey explores the postmodern theories of Foucault, Derrida, Tschumi, Deleuze and Guattari, and Irigaray.
 

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Contents

Avoiding the Void Primeval Patterns
3
Mastering the Matrix The Enuma Elish and Platos Timaeus
23
Place as Container Aristotles Physics
50
Interlude
75
The Emergence of Space in Hellenistic and Neoplatonic Thought
79
The Ascent of Infinite Space Medieval and Renaissance Speculations
103
Interim
133
Modern Space as Absolute Gassendi and Newton
137
Modern Space as Site and Point Position Panopticon and Pure Form
180
Transition
197
By Way of Body Kant Whitehead Husserl MerleauPonty
202
Proceeding to Place by Indirection Heidegger
243
Giving a Face to Place in the Present Bachelard Foucault Deleuze and Guattari Derrida Irigaray
285
Places Rediscovered
331
Notes
343
Index
479

Modern Space as Extensive Descartes
151
Modern Space as Relative Locke and Leibniz
162

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About the author (1997)

Edward Casey is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His most recent work is Getting Back into Place (1993).

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