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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Understanding Heidegger on Technology

By Mark Blitz
The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Society
Originally published in 2014

Here is an excerpt:

Technology as Revealing

Heidegger’s concern with technology is not limited to his writings that are explicitly dedicated to it, and a full appreciation of his views on technology requires some understanding of how the problem of technology fits into his broader philosophical project and phenomenological approach. (Phenomenology, for Heidegger, is a method that tries to let things show themselves in their own way, and not see them in advance through a technical or theoretical lens.) The most important argument in Being and Time that is relevant for Heidegger’s later thinking about technology is that theoretical activities such as the natural sciences depend on views of time and space that narrow the understanding implicit in how we deal with the ordinary world of action and concern. We cannot construct meaningful distance and direction, or understand the opportunities for action, from science’s neutral, mathematical understanding of space and time. Indeed, this detached and “objective” scientific view of the world restricts our everyday understanding. Our ordinary use of things and our “concernful dealings” within the world are pathways to a more fundamental and more truthful understanding of man and being than the sciences provide; science flattens the richness of ordinary concern. By placing science back within the realm of experience from which it originates, and by examining the way our scientific understanding of time, space, and nature derives from our more fundamental experience of the world, Heidegger, together with his teacher Husserl and some of his students such as Jacob Klein and Alexandre Koyré, helped to establish new ways of thinking about the history and philosophy of science.

The entire story is here.