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The space between us : opening remarks on the concept of dwelling.

Harrison, P. (2007) 'The space between us : opening remarks on the concept of dwelling.', Environment and planning D : society and space., 25 (4). pp. 625-647.


Somewhat surprisingly the concept of dwelling remains largely unconsidered within contemporary geographical thought. Despite signs of a renewed interest in the term it remains all but bereft of a sustained critical appraisal and as a consequence firmly tied to the name and writing of Martin Heidegger. The aim of this paper is to begin to open the concept up beyond this attachment and to provide a rationale for its reassessment. Through a double reading of dwelling, once via Heidegger and again via Emmanuel Levinas, I offer a twofold consideration of how the concept can be assembled, orientated, and organised. Where Heidegger organises and articulates the concept around an enclosed figure being-at-home-in-the-world for Levinas dwelling gains its significance from a constitutive openness to the incoming of the other. These are two accounts, then, which differ radically in their apprehension of the concept and in the unfolding of its implications but which agree on the central importance of the concept in the determination, figuring, and phrasing of subjectivity, sociality, and signification. Ultimately, what emerges from these opening remarks is a depiction of two attempts to make thought respond to and reckon with the event of space: two attempts to bring to thought the space between us.

Item Type:Article
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Date of first online publication:August 2007
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