Space inevitably plays an important role in our social lives. When talking to our neighbors, reading the newspaper, going the gym, answering an e-mail, we all draw on our presuppositions and understanding of spatiality and temporality.
This book successfully illuminates these embedded experiences, questioning how to understand space as a multiple, dynamic, intangible, yet present, form of knowledge. Building from a history of philosopher's and geographer's theories of space, Rob Shields convincingly presents the importance of spatialization and cultural topology in social theory and the possibilities that lies within these theoretical tools.
Innovative and thought-provoking, this book goes beyond traditional ideas of time and space, seeking to understand the multiplicity of spatializations and relate them to our everyday life.
Chapter 3: Histories of Spaces
Histories of Spaces
Both everyday and professional understandings of space have a history of gradual change which cannot be understood without studying changes in philosophy and in mathematical representations of space. Changes in experience and philosophy have altered spatial perception and thought, changing social behaviour, architecture, planning and settlement patterns, several times since Pythagoras (Croton, c.570–c.495 BCE), Euclid (Alexandria, c.325–265 BCE) or Descartes (Netherlands, 1596–1650). This chapter is a capsule survey of this history from the point of view of the early twenty-first century when the sense of the spatial has begun to reflect not only European but East Asian cultural viewpoints and traditions.
In general, there is a lack of systematic, non-specialist histories of the theories and mathematics of space that also form ...