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Understanding of Technology Implicit in ‘Being and Time’

Heidegger’s technological concerns are not limited to his writings but are clearly devoted to them. Therefore, complete acceptance of his technological ideas needs some consideration on how they are incorporated into his project of philosophy and phenomenological approach. According to Heidegger, phenomenology is a mechanism that attempts to allow entities to be revealed in their own way and not look at them using theoretical and technical lenses (Macquarrie 58). Understanding Heidegger’s implicit in Being and Time helps one identify its insights and blind spots.

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Heidegger’s main argument in Being and Time about technology is that certain theoretical actions, such as natural science, are dependent on space and time and restrict people’s knowledge of how they view events in the world. It is hard for people to build up significant directions and distances or recognize the opportunities that require action from science’s mathematical and neutral consideration of time and space (Macquarrie 92). Therefore, such kind of isolated scientific view of the world hinders people from understanding technology.

People’s normal use of entities in the world creates trails to new and open knowledge of man and the being that science offers because it equalizes the quality of normal thinking. Thus positioning science back within the realm of experience from where it began, then exploring the knowledge about nature, space, and time, it is evident that science derives its experience from the world (Macquarrie 92). Therefore, it is easy to understand how Heidegger has played part in the establishment of new thinking methods in science philosophy and history.

Heidegger has used the understanding from his writings that focus on technology and considered the traditional view of technology as just mere technical procedures. Alternatively, Heidegger thinks about the real meaning of technology as a method through which people interact with entities such as people and nature (Macquarrie 111). The most significant work that influenced Heidegger on technology is the lecture published in 1954 about “The Question Concerning Technology” (Jackson 3). The address was a revision of part two of a series of speeches comprising four parts delivered in Bremen.

During his introduction, Heidegger stated that “due to technological influence all distances in time and space are shrinking,” and “yet the hasty setting aside of all distances brings no nearness; for nearness does not consist of a small amount of distance” (Macquarrie 24). The main goals of these speeches were to examine the nearness that is absent as a result of the restless removal of distance. It is evident that people have become unable to experience this nearness because entities are presenting themselves technologically. This is because they are viewed in what Heidegger refers to as standing reserve.

Heidegger argues that everything appears as a source of energy or something that requires organization. People treat their abilities as if they were just methods of carrying out technological operations (Heidegger 1). Thus employees have become nothing other than production instruments. Moreover, planners, leaders and everyone is viewed as a resource that requires arrangement and rearrangement (Heidegger 1). Therefore, everything that is presented technologically loses its unique form and quality thus being pushed aside because people cannot see any other possibilities.

Efforts meant to correct the situation are never successful instead, they become part of it. People have started believing in technology as a means of producing desired products and controlling human activity (Heidegger 4). However, the truth is that people end up regarding themselves as manipulable and fungible (Heidegger 5). Direction and control are features of technology and thus people’s efforts to rule technology are still within its walls, strengthening them. Heidegger claims that all expressions concerning technology are just an ordinary critique that condemns its negative effects and the notion that technology is just a blessing (6). All these reveal the level technology has plundered human thinking. This is because, with all these perceptions, one begins to believe that technology is the only means of progression. Such a kind of view is right but does not allow people to see the main impact of technology (Heidegger 6). Therefore, it does not allow people to view technology as a way that everything else is presented.

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It is true that there lack different ways of thinking about technology. However, Heidegger’s point of view would also be trapped within itself because Heidegger tries to explain how people need to think and view technology which itself is obliged to technology. This directs us into a realm similar to those people familiar with Heidegger’s ideas about “being,” the key issues of Being and Time as well as one that is famous with his Bremen speeches (Macquarrie 21). The essential issue that belongs together with being is truth, an idea that Heidegger tries to highlight in his discussions about the question concerning technology (Heidegger 12). Various entities can be revealed to us in many ways, therefore, it is through being attentive to this that people will be able to familiarize themselves with technology. Therefore, other methods of revealing and being attentive to the realm of being and truth will make people understand technology within its boundaries.

There exist various worries about Heidegger’s technological concerns and opinions. For instance, while advocating for a comprehensive view of technology by virtue of its inclusiveness, Heidegger hides some of the most important concerns of human beings (Jackson 1). Additionally, the emphasis that Heidegger makes on technologies’ mysteriousness and broad scope disregard the importance of political and ethical choice. According to Jackson, the two problems manifest themselves in the second passage of Bremen’s speech when Heidegger states that “Agriculture is now a mechanized food industry, in essence, the same as the production of corpses in the gas chambers and extermination camps; the same as the blockading and starving of countries; the same as the production of hydrogen bombs” (Jackson 1). Therefore, this has created confusion about Heidegger’s claims about technology.

Heidegger’s viewpoint makes it difficult to understand how Nazis’ extermination camps and agriculture can be the same. There is no existence of such kind of an idea since it can be modified and it overlooks the most vital matters of choice. Additionally, it is impossible to deal with grave injustice (Jackson 1). Whatever the phrase “in essence the same (Jackson 1)” means, Heidegger does not consider the ethical difference that exists when comparing the two phenomena as well as a path for just political choice.

Conclusively, this paper has explored Heidegger’s understanding of technology in Being and Time analyzing its insights and blind spots. For instance, Heidegger explains how some theoretical actions such as natural science depending on views of time and space through technology have impacted how people deal with vents in the world. Additionally, technology is seen to influence the shrinking of people’s nearness. Various weaknesses have also been identified in Heidegger’s understanding of technology. Heidegger is seen promising a comprehensive view of technology while at the same time intimidating vital concerns of human beings. Heidegger’s claims are important, however, it is not right to say technology displaces human beings from their original state hindering their ability to experience them truly because technology has its own advantages to people.

Works Cited

Heidegger, Martin. The Question Concerning Technology. Garland Science, 1977.

Jackson, Gregory. Heidegger, History And The Holocaust. Bloomsbury, 2017.

Macquarrie, John, and Edward, Robinson. Being and time. Blackwell, 1973.

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