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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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The early twentieth century was an era of a sensational and incredible cultural revolution in art, literature, science and technology, as well as in philosophy. The twentieth century is rightly called the century of technology. But this century, however rich in innovation and technological progress, is also that of technical modernity’s backlash, deluded as it is by its own power and limitless needs to exploit its environment.

Modern technology is altering the way we live our lives. Ingenious devices make daily undertakings stress-free and allow societies and individuals to use their time efficiently, thereby increasing human capabilities. Technological developments mean that more and more things are possible with the touch of a button. Through easy access to information and improved communication, through efficiency in productivity and conveniences in travelling and improved lifestyle, but equally through the availability of destructive weapons and increased loneliness, as well as a fuelling of hyper-consumerism and accelerated environmental destructions, modern science and new technologies have transformed the way we see ourselves and our society, as well as leaving us in an objectively dangerous situation. They have therefore presented us with challenging questions on how to employ science and technology most proficiently to meet human desires.

The problem with technology is that most inventions have inadvertent consequences, and those unintended outcomes are mounting daily, causing devastations and generating risks of existential enormity. Therefore, a questioning of technology became crucial and imperative for Heidegger, among others, because modern technology carried with...

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