Show Less
Restricted access

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.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter IV: Heidegger, Technology, and Human Destiny



As the title of this chapter suggests, we shall be examining the question of technology in the light of Heidegger’s interpretation and analysis. In our previous chapter, Descartes famously asserts “I think, therefore I am.” Upon this allegedly indubitable proposition he attempted to construct a philosophical system which would serve as the foundation of all sciences, ushering in the spirit of modernity. Heidegger criticized modernity with its primacy of consciousness over Being. His interrogation of Being involves not only the investigation of the being of beings but also the questioning of the functionality of the knowledge of being, and man’s use of that knowledge. In other words investigative ontology, appropriative epistemology and praxique utility are three sides of the triangular human venture vis-à-vis material existence.1 The main focus of this chapter is mostly on the praxique: the operation that man makes in beings in view of self-satisfaction in being, growth and development. This is in other words called technology.

Heidegger claim that, in the West, technology does not merely designate a set of instruments or a mode of production: it designates a cast of mind. However, the Western technological mind-set is not something new. It can be traced back to the very beginning of Western philosophy, back to Plato. Heidegger’s insinuation suggests that Platonic metaphysics only hints at a technological worldview which comes to full blossom two thousand years later in the thoughts of Descartes who rang the bell that gathered the...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.