Heidegger’s Twofold Treatment of Modern Technology

  • Tomas Nemunas Mickevičius
Keywords: being, production, technology, technoscience, philosophy of technology, critique of technology


In this article the twofoldness of Heidegger’s treatment of modern technology is presented. Firstly, it is shown that one can trace the line of thinking on modern technology from the earliest to the latest of Heidegger’s thinking periods. Though Heidegger claimed that it was firstly the task to understand the essence of modern technology that concerned him, it is still possible to discern basic trends of treatment or evaluation of modern technology in his thinking. On the one hand, the Heideggerian critique of modern technoscientific revelation of reality is presented: Heidegger stressed not only the negative practical consequences of technology as ecological crisis but also ontological ones as the disappearance of the experience of Being itself. The program of the overcoming of technology is presented as well as some examples of the alternatives. On the other hand, the positive or appropriative treatment of modern technology is presented. The fragmentary suggestions that it is precisely the modern technological revealing of reality that prepares the way for the authentic experience of Being are developed by connecting them with early Heidegger’s claim that it is the basic experience of production that forms the conceptual horizon of Western culture. The possibility that this line of Heideggerian thinking might help to understand and articulate such important phenomena of current technoscientific condition as synthetic biology is mentioned.
Philosophy of Technology and Ecology