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Modernity and Destining of Technological Being

Beyond Heidegger’s Critique of Technology to Responsible and Reflexive Technology

Temple Davis Okoro

Facing Heidegger’s critique of modern technology, the author analyses the question of technology and ethical responsibility and the call for reflexivity towards technology. He examines Heidegger‘s thoughts about how science and technology conceal the enigmatic and distinctive presencing of Being and exhibits how modern technology has brought unintended consequences and risks. The author extends the deliberation among diverse epistemologies, interested parties and laypersons, a component of reflexive modernization. Such epistemic community opens the way for a new reflexive democratization of technology, in which different actors should be involved in decision making about technology as it affects the society, the environment and individuals.
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Chapter I: Experience of Being: Dasein’s Being-in-the-World

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Introduction

Ontology has as its primary task the introduction of certain principles that will offer a systematic and safe foundation for the analysis of the question of truth. But due to certain historical exigencies like the emergence of skepticism which challenged the religious dogmatic views of human life as a result of scientific and positivistic mentality of the modern era, Heidegger stresses that we must acknowledge the apparent idea that philosophy has no candid foundation upon which to progress apart from the finite presence of life on earth, namely, our Being-in-the-world. Thus, ontology has for its fundamental discipline, according to Heidegger, the analytic of the Dasein. “As ways in which man behaves, sciences have the manner of Being which this man himself possesses. This entity we denote by the term Dasein.”1

This means that the manner of being which man has is quite different from the manner of being of other beings because “Dasein itself has a special distinctiveness compared with other entities.”2 Although, by his very nature, Dasein is a being-in-the-world, he is not just one of other entities. “In the Heideggerian perspective, the ultimate goal of Dasein’s existence is the experiencing of Being. He is transcendence by his very nature and has a destiny that goes beyond his everyday concerns.”3 He is therefore not simply called upon to be a being-in-the-world, but is predestined to understand Being and to be a being that is open to Being.

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