2. Science and Technology: The Real Roots of Modernity 23
23 2. Science and Technology: The Real Roots of Modernity Gadamer always paid a great attention to the important role played by science and technology in our world. More precisely, according to him they actually represent the real roots of modernity. As a matter of fact, it is clear from many of Gadamer’s writings that he even identifies the epochal transition to the modern age with the birth and growth of science and technology. That is, he somehow sees what we might define “techno-science” as the fundamental feature of the Western civilization from the seventeenth century on. So, in the essay Wissen- schaft als Instrument der Aufklärung he poses the questions: “When and how did modernity begin? With the Renaissance? […] With the discovery of the individual […], with the discovery of America?” – and then he answers: “Whenever it started, it was certainly the new science that […] became something quite new and ushered in the new epoch”1. According to Gadamer, the great fact of “the mathematical foundation of all empirical sciences” represented indeed “the actual beginning of modernity”, which “did not begin on a certain date – this game of the historian has been played enough – but with the method- ological ideal of modern science”2. To be sure, Gadamer never denies the existence of some historical and philosophical presuppositions in the ancient and medieval culture which set the basis, so to speak, for the development of the modern techno-scientific forma mentis. I think it is important to underline this point,...
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