Saturday, September 12, 2015

From Space to Place In < 300 Words

Note: I am applying artistic license, because I feel readers may find this shorter edition of the rather work, supposedly on phenomenology, much more useful than the original. Here it is:

By Edward S. Casey

"It is sensible, perhaps even irresistible, to assume that human experience begins with space and time and then proceeds to place. Are not space and time universal in scope, and place merely particular? Can place do anything but specify what is already the case in space and time? Or might it be that place is something special, with its own essential structures and modes of experience, even something universal in its own way?... In order to prevent this mere reversal of priority, I have maintained that place is no empty substratum to which cultural predicates come to be attached; it is an already plenary presence permeated with culturally constituted institutions and practices. As the basis of collective as well as individual habitus, these institutions and practices pervade the bodies ofsensing subjects in a given place as well as the gathering power of the place itself: even when prediscursively given (and prereflectively experienced), neither body nor place is precultural. Just as place invades space from the bottom up, so culture penetrates place from the top down as it were. But only as it were, for the very directionalities of "up" and "down" are legacies of bodily orientation in places (as Kant reminds us) and are elicited by powers inherent in places themselves (as Aristotle affirms). It would be more accurate to say simply, and in conclusion, that as places gather bodies in their midst in deeply enculturated ways, so cultures conjoin bodies in concrete circumstances of emplacement."

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