Heidegger's TechnologiesPostphenomenological Perspectives

Heidegger's TechnologiesPostphenomenological Perspectives

Don Ihde

Print publication date: 2011

ISBN: 9780823233762

Publisher: Fordham University Press


Heidegger is the only thinker of his generation whose philosophy of technology is still widely read today. In it, he made three basic claims. First, he asserted that the essence of technology is not technological — that technology is not a neutral instrumentality. Second, he claimed that there is a qualitative difference between modern and traditional technologies. Third and most interestingly, he claimed that technology is a metaphysical perspective, a paradigmatic view of the whole of nature. Although Martin Heidegger remains recognized as a founder of the philosophy of technology, in the past sixty years a whole new world of technologies has appeared — bio-, nano-, info-, and imaging. How adequate is Heidegger's thinking now for understanding today's technological advances? After an Introduction that places Heidegger within the thinking about technology typical of his time, this book reexamines Heidegger's positions from multiple perspectives — historical, pragmatic, anti-Romantic, and post phenomenological. Its critiques invert Heidegger's essentialism and the book phenomenologically analyzes Heidegger's favored and disfavored technologies. In conclusion, the book undertakes a concrete analysis of the technologies Heidegger used to produce his writing and discovers heretofore undiscussed and ironic results.