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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 VI: Towards a Reflexive Political Modernization



In our previous sections, we have presented Heidegger’s ontologico-poetic interpretation of technology in which a certain destining is at work in the modern quest to be technological. We have equally seen that Hans Jonas concretized Heidegger’s ontological solution when he offered a new dimension of responsibility in accessing the question of technology. While Jonas’ solution is more of forward-looking, that is, preservation for the future generation, the new social sciences, especially as articulated in Giddens view of technology is more of backward-looking, namely, examining inwardly, the areas of tension within technology itself where modern man has overstepped the bounds of negligence.

Today, the new questions identified by Giddens and Beck as ‘risk society’ are becoming the crucial fields wherein political arrangement and battle take shape. The long-standing left/right mutual politics that were supposedly created from inside the social affairs that are engraved in modernity are not effective anymore, assuming they were before. This, obviously, likewise entails that the conventional platforms of politics, namely, state, parliament, political parties, etc., are not the distinctive ground of the political any more. Chantal Mouffe summarizes Beck’s prophetic vision of a new democracy as follows:

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