In the Brightness of Place

Topological Thinking with and After Heidegger

By Jeff Malpas

Subjects: Continental Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Literature, Religion, General Interest
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Hardcover : 9781438490038, 322 pages, September 2022
Paperback : 9781438490021, 322 pages, March 2023

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Introduction: In the Brightness of Place

1. Out of History to Topology

2. The “Anthropology” of the World

3. On Not Naturalizing Heidegger

4. Ontology and Hermeneutics

5. Language and Place

6. The Refusal of Metaphor

7. Finding Ourselves in the World

8. Technology and Spatialization

9. From Extremity to Releasement

10. Where Are We When We Think?

Epilogue To the Other Beginning

Drawing on a range of sources in philosophy and literature, but with particular reference to the work of Heidegger, makes a compelling case for the importance of place in philosophical discourse.


The work of Jeff Malpas is well-known for its contribution to contemporary thinking about place and space. In the Brightness of Place takes that contribution further, as Malpas develops it in new ways and in relation to new topics. At the same time, the volume also develops Malpas' distinctively topological approach to the work of Martin Heidegger. Not limited simply to a reading of the topological in Heidegger, In the Brightness of Place also takes up the idea of topology after Heidegger, showing how topological thinking provides a way of rethinking Heidegger's own work and of rethinking our own being in the world.

Jeff Malpas is Emeritus Distinguished Professor at the University of Tasmania in Australia. His many books include Rethinking Dwelling: Heidegger, Place, Architecture and The Fundamental Field: Thought, Poetics, World (coauthored with Kenneth White).


"…[an] excellent new volume … the book is a genuine success, a remarkable study of the later Heidegger that should speak to readers in the environmental humanities, philosophy, critical theory, and more." — H-Net Reviews (H-Environment)

"This thought-provoking book will be of significant interest to students of Heidegger and of topology … Highly recommended." — CHOICE

"Malpas has long been the leading figure in debates about Heidegger, philosophy and place. Building on that pioneering work, In the Brightness of Place represents an important contribution to several fields, most obviously around place, geography and landscape, but also to literature. The opening chapter on Heidegger's notorious 'Black Notebooks' is particularly impressive. It treats them seriously—philosophically, politically, biographically—and shows how they can shed light on important issues in the reading and assessment of Heidegger." — Stuart Elden, author of The Early Foucault

"In this magisterial book, Jeff Malpas lucidly sets forth the full span of Heidegger's later thought. He draws the curtain on a broader vista than one might ever have imagined, ranging from meditations on the "other beginning" and the 'turning' to rethinking emotion and reason. He shows how what might otherwise appear to be a scattered multiplicity of topics gravitates around place understood as a deeply coherent core of Heidegger's mature work. He demonstrates not just the plausibility of this core but just how unrefusable it is when taken seriously. The result is a triumph not only in Heidegger scholarship but in building a case for 'the essentially placed character of being.' The author's luminous prose—which draws on many sources, not only philosophical (ranging from Hume and Kant to Arendt and Benjamin) but poetic and historical—conveys to us a profound truth of the human condition: to be is to be in place." — Edward S. Casey, author of The World on Edge and Turning Emotion Inside Out