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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 III: The Age of Technological Being and Emergence of Subjectivity



In the last two chapters of our previous section, we have shown how Heidegger made a transition from situating his project within the metaphysical tradition to positioning it in opposition to that tradition. Although his claims that his focus upon the question of Being remains uninterrupted across his work, the apparent shift is noticeable. We equally showed that the forgetting of Being manifest itself traditionally, according to Heidegger, in the representational thinking of identity and metaphysics of subjectivity, which will culminate in modern technology as the complete oblivion of the ontological difference. Thus, it is obvious that there is a discontinuity between the early (Heidegger I) and later (Heidegger II) work, each hiding a subconscious continuity.

In this section of our study, we will see how such continuity is manifested in Heidegger’s philosophy of technology which stems directly from his fundamental ontology and on the question of being. Particularly, his notion of technology as the enframing destining of the modern society is a disclosure of being itself as technology. The history of being gives Heidegger a standpoint from which to understand how in our modern world things have been turned into objects. The relationship of Heidegger’s ontology to his philosophy of technology is one of the notions at stake in understanding the stimulations for his philosophical inquiry. Thus he proposes a history of being which climaxed in the technological conception of being, with the aim of helping us recognize and surmount our modern...

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