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Natureza humana

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MALPAS, Jeff. Geography, Biology and Politics: Heidegger on Place and World. Nat. hum. [online]. 2009, vol.11, n.1, pp.171-200. ISSN 1517-2430.

Beginning with Giorgio Agamben’s juxtaposition, in his essay The Open, of Heidegger alongside the geographers Ratzel and Vidal de la Blanche, and the ethologist, von Uexküll, this paper argues that the aesthetics of dwelling that we find in later Heidegger has to be understood in terms of the centrality to Heidegger’s thinking of a concept that is also central to cultural-geographic thought (and in a particularly important in the way the thought of Ratzel and Vidal de la Blanche), namely, the concept of place or ‘geographic space’. The centrality given to the ‘geographic’ (or ‘topographic’) in Heidegger’s thinking is often taken to be directly connected, as it is taken to be by Agamben, with Heidegger’s problematic engagement with Nazi in the 1930s, and Agamben presents Heidegger’s position as parallelling that of von Uexküll in this regard. Yet not only is the manner in which Agamben makes this connection highly misleading, but it also neglects any real consideration of what might be at issue in the emphasis on the ‘geographical’ in Heidegger. There is, indeed, reason to think that the role played by the concepts of place and space in Heidegger’s thought actually runs counter to the associations that Agamben and others assume. This paper is thus an exploration of the ‘geographical’ as it appears in Heidegger, and of the political associations that might be thought to accompany it, as well as of Heidegger’s relation to a certain strand within the geographical tradition exemplified by Ratzel and Vidal de la Blanche.

Keywords : Aesthetics of dwelling; Geographic space; Word; Place.

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