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VII. The Question Concerning Technology Philosophy 157 G. J. Mattey ©2002.

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Presentation on theme: "VII. The Question Concerning Technology Philosophy 157 G. J. Mattey ©2002."— Presentation transcript:

1 VII. The Question Concerning Technology Philosophy 157 G. J. Mattey ©2002

2 The Essence of Technology Technology can be viewed as a means to an end (instrumental) Or it can be viewed as human activity (anthropological) Both are correct, but neither touches the essence of technology What is the essence of technology? We are blinded to it when we think of it as something neutral

3 Causality Technology brings about change causally The cause is what is responsible for the effect, and the effect is indebted to the cause According to Aristotle, there are four ways in which this relation holds The unifying notion is that of starting something on its way to arrival Being responsible is an inducing to go forward

4 Bringing Forth The bringing forth which underlies causality is a bringing out of concealment This revealing is what the Greeks call truth Technology brings forth as well, and it is a revealing This is seen in the way the Greeks understood techne, which encompasses not only craft, but other acts of the mind, and poetry

5 Modern Technology Both primitive crafts and modern technology are revealing But the revealing of modern technology is not a bringing-forth, but a challenging-forth It challenges nature, by extracting something from it and transforming it, storing it up, distributing it, etc.

6 The Standing-Reserve Modern technology takes all of nature to stand in reserve for its exploitation Man is challenged to do this, and as such he becomes part of the standing reserve Man becomes the instrument of technology, to be exploited in the ordering of nature

7 Enframing It is not man that orders nature through technology, but a more basic process of revealing The challenge of this revealing is called enframing In enframing, the actual is revealed as a standing- reserve This is historically prior to the development of science Enframing is the essence of technology

8 Destining Men are sent upon the way of revealing the actual as a standing-reserve So enframing, and hence technology, is a destining The destining of man to reveal nature carries with it the danger of misconstrual

9 The Danger Man is in danger of becoming merely part of the standing-reserve Alternatively, he may find only himself in nature Most importantly, he may think that the ordering of the world through technology is the fundamental mode of revealing So the real threat of technology comes from its essence, not its activities or products

10 The Saving Power The poet Hölderlin writes that the saving power grows where danger is The saving would allow a bringing-forth that is not a challenging-forth (things would reveal themselves not just as standing- reserve) Both technology and bringing-forth grow out of granting, which allows revealing

11 Art as Saving Power Poetry and other arts have the power to reveal, in the sense of bringing-forth Poetry is included in the Aristotelian techne, and is akin to modern technology But it is also fundamentally different from technology It may be the best means for getting at the essence of technology itself


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