Malpas on Heidegger's Topology and Later Heidegger
Heidegger’s Topology attempts to provide an account of the way in which place provides a starting point for Heidegger’ s thinking as well as an idea toward which it develops. Indeed, it is only in the very late thinking, from perhaps 1947 onward, that Heidegger’s topology emerges in a fully developed form (although a form that can only be appreciated when viewed in terms of the problems in the earlier thinking to which it is also a response).I believe the second book is his Place and Experience: A Philosophical Topography. I'll be getting both soon (for my thesis) and look forward to reading his insights.
If we are to take Heidegger as making a significant contribution to the philosophical analysis of place in the 20th century, then it must be primarily on the basis of the later thinking rather than the earlier. But the later thinking also makes demands on the reader that are much greater than those of the earlier work—demands that follow, in part, from Heidegger’ s own attempts to think topologically—and as a result the later thinking is more prone to being misread and misconstrued.
I had hoped that Heidegger’s Topology would go some way toward correcting this tendency, but if Relph’s comments are taken as an indication, the work would seem to have fallen short of at least one of its objectives. On the other hand, if the sort of topology or topography in which I take Heidegger to have been engaged and to which I take my own work to be a contribution does constitute a different, if not entirely unprecedented, mode of thinking, then perhaps one simply has to accept certain inevitable difficulties in the communication and elucidation of that thinking.
Heidegger’s Topology does not, however, stand alone. Not only does it seem to me to be supported by the work of others in the same field, most notably, by that of Ed Casey, but it should also be read against the background of my other work. In this respect, Heidegger’s Topology is only the second book in what should be a sequence of works that will together, I hope, provide a more fully elaborated account of the philosophical topology that is adumbrated in Heidegger.