Heidegger’s Critique of Modern Technology: On “The Question Concerning Technology”

Thinking on technology more deeply…

Be Late.

Heidegger understands the question concerning technology as essentially linked to the question of being.  Technology, he argues, points to something essential about the constitution of our ontology, our way of being-in-the-world (see also my posts on Heidegger’sBeing and Timeand “Letter on Humanism”).  What compelled him to write on technology lies in his observation that “everywhere [in Europe], [man] remain[s] unfree and chained to technology,” (QT, 287) a situation in which the more technology advances itself the more it “threatens to slip from human control” (QT, 289).  Hence, a questioning of technology became necessary and urgent for Heidegger because modern technology brought with it a new way of ordering the world, which he saw as contaminating man’s authentic sense of being, thus signaling a certain crisis at bay in European industrial modernity.  Although Heidegger’s essay is a text of philosophy, we can say it is also a work…

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