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We Need to Talk About Heidegger

Essays Situating Martin Heidegger in Contemporary Media Studies


Edited By Justin Michael Battin and German A. Duarte

This collection assembles a number of chapters engaging different strands of Martin Heidegger’s philosophy in order to explore issues relevant to contemporary media studies. Following the release of Heidegger’s controversial Black Notebooks and the subsequent calls to abandon the philosopher, this book seeks to demonstrate why Heidegger, rather than be pushed aside and shunned by media practitioners, ought to be embraced by and further incorporated into the discipline, as he offers unique and often innovative pathways to address, and ultimately understand, our daily engagements with media-related phenomena.

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Heidegger’s Topology in the World/s of Ubiquitous Computing


Even though Martin Heidegger has, directly or indirectly, influenced many media theorists, few have substantially engaged with his work. Two exceptions are Bernard Stiegler and Peter Sloterdijk. Stiegler’s indebtedness to Heidegger is evident in nearly all of his writings, however first and foremost in his Technics and Time [La Technique et le Temps] series,1 where he developed the groundwork for a technical ontology, primarily through the question of time. Also Sloterdijk uses Heidegger pervasively in almost all of his writings, most importantly in his main media-theoretical work Spheres [Sphären],2 where he conceives Heidegger’s thought, and further develops it, through a spatial framework. However, apart from the short “Excursus” on “Heidegger’s Lesson of Existential Place”,3 where he “unconceals” the notion of Being-in as foundation of (human) Dasein’s spatiality,4 explicated in the first division of Sein und Zeit [Being and Time], Sloterdijk largely implicitly reads Heidegger in his “spherology”. In contrast to Stiegler and partly with Sloterdijk, this essay aims to reveal Heidegger’s ontology of medial place [topos] across (a selection of) his works. As Sloterdijk writes himself, Spheres has to be read as “Being and Space”.5 Thus, although he recognizes the importance of place in Heidegger’s work, he does not really distinguish between space and place, and ultimately subordinates the latter under the former. The intent of the following pages is not to conceive place merely as a subcategory of the more universalising conceptions of space and time, i.e. as simply a point...

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