Heidegger and Technology Links

This page contains links to items on the internet about technology and the German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976).

The links below are ordered chronologically with the most recent additions at the top.

Why Heideggerian AI Failed and how Fixing it would Require making it more Heideggerian [PDF]

Hubert L. Dreyfus

Merleau-Ponty’s and Freeman’s account of how we directly pick up significance and improve our sensitivity to relevance depends on our responding to what is significant for us given our needs, body size, ways of moving, and so forth, not to mention our personal and cultural self-interpretation. If we can’t make our brain model responsive to the significance in the environment as it shows up specifically for human beings, the project of developing an embedded and embodied Heideggerian AI can’t get off the ground.

The Globalization of Everything or Ge-stell by Other Name: A Phenomenological Analysis of Information Technology [PDF]

Fernando M. Ilharco

[W]ithin the ontological ordering of Ge-stell, IT reveals the earth as the globe. The globe, nowadays both a ready-to-hand entity and a constitutive element of being-in-the-world, is a technological being in that literally and ontologically it is an outcome of the IT apparatus.

Guide to Martin Heidegger's "The Question Concerning Technology"

John David Zuern

A Heideggerian Defense of Therapeutic Cloning [PDF]

Fredrik Svenaeus

My claim that phenomenology, and especially the phenomenology of Heidegger, could be used to develop ethical arguments will come as a surprise to some scholars, since Heidegger himself denied ever having such a goal in view. One should not, however, let oneself be misled by Heidegger?s self-characterizations.

A Demonstration of the Transition from Ready-to-Hand to Unready-to-Hand

Dobromir G. Dotov, Lin Nie, Anthony Chemero

Together these experiments show that a smoothly coping participant-tool system can be temporarily disrupted and that this disruption causes a change in the participant's awareness. Since these two events follow as predictions from Heidegger's work, our study offers evidence for the hypothesized transition from readiness-to-hand to unreadiness-to-hand.


Capital and Technology: Marx and Heidegger

Michael Eldred

According to Heidegger's own statements (which of course do not have to be taken as the final source of evidence), from 1937 on, at the time of writing the Contributions to Philosophy - From Enowning, the word 'propriation' or 'enowning' assumes a position as principal word in his thinking. The essence of technology is also thought through in the 1940s under the aura of propriation. In an unusual text from the fifties, Identity and Difference, [...] Heidegger talks of a twisting of the set-up into propriation, of the "sudden flash of propriation" within the set-up. In this text there is a sort of toggle relationship between the most extreme consummation of metaphysics and the twisting of metaphysics into propriation, a 'getting-over-metaphysics', in which humans would "lose" their determination of essence which metaphysics has "lent" them.

Hermeneutic practices in software development: the case of Ada and Python [PDF]

Viktor Binzberger

Heidegger?s and Habermas?s position seem to be in accord with the design rationales built into Ada. The problem is that hermeneutic practices in FLOSS projects like Python transcend this horizon. Their visions don?t seem to have trans-historical validity: they are only relevant in the case of ?Ada-thinking?, but ?Ada-thinking? has many alternatives.

The Tragic Double Bind of Heidegger?s Techne [PDF]

David Edward Tabachnick

The recognition of the ineffectuality of a political or social response to technology leads [Heidegger] both to move away from the call for a violent recapturing of a primordial techne, and to suggest instead that within the enframing essence of technology lies an opportunity to once again experience the disclosure of a sense of limitation. As he explains in the passage quoted above, in the dominance of technology ?something is being announced . . . namely a relationship of Being to man?and . . . this relationship, which is concealed in the essence of technology, may come to light someday in its undisguised form. I do not know whether it is going to happen!?

The Question Concerning Heidegger: Technology and Being, a Deeper Understanding [PDF]

James Michael Taylor

The enframing is not machines and it is not technological, it is rather the true essence of technology. The enframing is the gathering that reveals the being of man, in this technological age, as the being who orders the entities of the world as standing reserve. It is what reveals the being of man as orderer, and in turn reveals the other entities of the world as ordered. Enframing is the mode of revealing that holds sway, that is to say it is the mode that is chief and unassailable in the essence of modern technology.

Philosophy of Technology

From: Instrumental Realism: The Interface between Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Technology

Don Ihde

The Heideggerian inversion replaces the Modern and Critical eras? ?observer? with a pragmatic and existential human ?actor.? This actional being is, moreover, a materialized or existential being. Finally, this materialized being is also peculiar, in that he or she is technologically involved with and extended into his or her immediate environment. The Heideggerian existentialization of the human being simultaneously materializes and technologizes action. It is a distinctly non-Platonic perspective.

The Self-Referential Structure of an Everyday-Living Situation:
A Phenomenological Ontology for Interpretive Systemology

Ramsés Fuenmayor

"To the things themselves" is not to be confused with the reductionist search for things-in-themselves. On the contrary, it means the search for the "whatness" of things as manifested on the stage of everyday life (Lebenswelt). It means the search for the manifold of meanings dynamically impressed on our "compromise" with the world. It means, as we shall see later, to study things "distinguishing" them from what they are not.

Heidegger on Truth [PDF]

Frenando Albano Maia de Magalhães Ilharco

[Heidegger] argues that the practices in the background of understanding can function only if they remain in the background. The background itself opens up the very possibility of a foreground, for it is only against something that another something can be focused, or call for attention. Thus, that which is most vital in functioning must be that which is closest to us; so close, as not to be seen because it belongs to the background, not the foreground.

Calculative Thinking and Essential Thinking in Heidegger's Phenomenology [PDF]

John D. Haynes

Why is it that "logic" - as found pervasively in Information Technology - cannot grasp essential thinking? Because logic cannot be other than itself. A system of logic defines its own boundaries and therefore cannot move outside those boundaries. In order to grasp essential thinking a sense of the same process by which humans are aware of themselves as self-conscious is required. It is a requirement for a way of thinking that can realise that it is thinking.

Eco-Sophia: The Artist of Life

Decades of study into the history of philosophy afforded Heidegger an eminent grasp of the origins of contemporary science and technology, and he saw in both powerful machinations merely the finished product of the failure of that way of living befitting us as mortals. Heidegger did not lament the fact that science became basically technological and that from its beginnings as knowledge of theoria free of delimiting purpose or ends it then became restricted to a rationalistic, narrowly construed misappropriation of the world; instead, he was the first to analyze it.

From the Phenomenon to the Event of Technology

The present death-bringing technology is, though in a totally distorted way, the selfsame life-sustaining technology of man conceived of originally. Heidegger's "event of technology" expresses therefore not a new phenomenon, but rather the hidden meaning of present-day technology.

Wolfgang Schirmacher

"The End of the (Dreyfus) Affair":
(Post)Heideggerian Meditations on Man, Machine and Meaning

Syed Mustafa Ali

[L]ife constitutes a sufficient existential condition for being a 'clearing' or 'opening', that is, a space of possible ways for things (including human beings) to be. While it might be conceded that the Being (sense or meaning) of beings disclosed by Dasein is of a significantly higher order than that disclosed by (other) beings themselves, it simply does not follow from the shareability of language peculiar to Dasein that disclosure of Being by other beings is impossible; human-centred meaning is not necessarily coextensive with meaning as such.

Capurro's Hermeneutic Approach to Information Ethics: Ethos in the Information Society and the Development of "angeletics" [PDF]

Tadashi Takenouchi

Capurro tries to theorize angeletics based on Heidegger's "pre-structure of understanding." This means that message is considered to have ontological character and therefore a relationship with the world of human existence.

Commentary on Heidegger's "The Question Concerning Technology" [PDF]

Mahon O'Brien

Heidegger's essay is easily one of the most influential pieces of work concerning the subject of technology (and related issues) but is also the victim of a myriad of misappropriations and misreadings. It is hoped that this essay will help ameliorate the current situation where so many non-philosophers view Heidegger's essay as another variant on the prevalent themes of cultural pessimism and anti-modernism which dominated the European intellectual scene during the early and middle parts of the twentieth century.

Heidegger, Technology and Television

Dan Scoggin

Scroll down for article.

The value of Heidegger's theory of technology consists in its ability to offer us an alternative way to conceptualize a rupture between a technological past and present.

(En)Framing Heidegger's Philosophy of Technology

Ronald Godzinski

[T]he potential value that any technical device might have would be contingent upon its context of use. From a Heideggerian standpoint, it would be inappropriate to claim that any technical device is intrinsically good or evil.

Exploration of the Application of 'Ready-to-hand' and 'Present-at-hand' in the Design of Systems [PDF]

Timothy L.J. Ferris

Systems Engineering seeks to transform the vision of the proposed system in its zuhanden mode of being into something amenable to thew methods of engineers, and thus to describe and analyse the system in a vorhanden mode of being.

Flirting with fascism - the Sloterdijk debate

Andrew Fisher

Sloterdijk inflects Heidegger's assertion of ontological difference in the `Letter on Humanism' with a specifically technological bias. Identifying the condition for empathetic relationships - which structure relations of power through texts - he gestures towards the human genome as a kind of alphabet, a codex, from which human needs can be read and which can structure how they are met. His proposal is for a thorough technologization of humanity through genetic manipulation, generalized as a principle with which to govern the progress of society.

Husserl, Heidegger and the Intentionality Question

Archana Barua

Heidegger sought to unveil the nature of thinking of the earth-bound man who is ruled not by the image of the sun, not by the light of reason per se, but by the logic of life depending on idiosyncratic circumstances of the moment for insight and practical wisdom.

From a Genealogy of Matter to a Politics of Memory: Stiegler's Thinking of Technics

Richard Beardsworth

When arguing for a philosophy of technology, which 'thinks' technology but thinks it technically, refusing the 'abyss of essence' between logos and techne, Stiegler is both working within a Heideggerian problematic and overturning it. The issues are the same (calculability, the incalculable, indifferentiation, temporal ecstasis); the way of situating and confronting these issues is, in the end, almost totally different.

Phenomenology and Genetic Engineering [PDF]

D.W. Lauer

In Heidegger's hermeneutic phenomenology, determining the absolute status or essence of an entity is, actually, prohibited by the movement of phenomenology. Hermeneutic means interpretive and if the entity is always given as interpretive rather than absolutely then the entity itself must be imbued with certain nonobjective character.

Why we do not have to worry about speaking the language of the computer [PDF]

Hubert Dreyfus

[A]s Heidegger points out in Being and Time, language is not normally used for the exchange of information. Rather language calls attention to some aspect of a world the language users already share.

On Artificiality

Philosophical Presuppositions of Producing and Patenting Organic Life

Rafael Capurro

Our organs are therefore not just of the same kind as they are embedded within another kind of capability that Heidegger calls 'behaviour' ("Verhalten") in contrast to animal 'dazed state' ("Benommenheit"). At the same time there is not a fundamental division between being human and other non-human organic life as far as we are also inserted in the 'ring-like' structure of "living nature" "which holds us as captive in a very specific way."

The quote is from The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics.

The World Wide Web's shadow of opportunity: A Heideggerian perspective of authenticity in the information age [PDF]

Kimberly Cass

Authenticity is a process rather than a state. After glimpsing many times what is truly appropriate for it, Dasein becomes absorbed back into the activities in its world. Dasein is called back into the world by caring.

The Question Concerning Heidegger's Critique of Subjectivity: Reflections on the Essence of Science, Technology, and the Modern Age

Matthew Schreiber

Despite the inability of representational thinking to acknowledge the real beyond the objective realm, being reveals itself through the very inadequacy of science. The modern subject, surrounded by objects manufactured by the means of technology, experiences a lacking. This lacking cannot be accounted for through calculation, for it is an absence of presence.

Heidegger on Technology, Alienation and Destiny

Yu Xuanmeng

'Given that the essence of modern technology lies in Enframing or revealing as challenging and ordering, till now we have not asked what it is that is revealing. In fact, it is Being or destiny, but [Heidegger] never indicates that these are a subject; rather they are presented as the process of revealing as such.'

What's Wrong with Being a Technological Essentialist? A Response to Feenberg

Iain Thomson

'Heidegger holds that the essence of technology is nothing less than the ontological self-understanding of the age. In so far as we implicitly adopt the ontology of enframing, everything in the contemporary world will show up for us as reflecting the essence of technology, technological devices included.'

Studying the involved computer user: A phenomenological approach

Edgar A. Whitley, Julika Siemer, Lucas D. Introna

The Destiny of Technology: Modern Science and Human Freedom in the Later Heidegger

Rex Gilliland

'How can Dasein, as a thrown being, respond to the call of conscience in a way that preserves the uniqueness peculiar to the moment of vision? How do we think the relationship of human freedom to the granting that is beyond its control? How do we enter into that which lies between arbitrariness and brute necessity? This rich yet difficult question is a constant theme in Heidegger's work.'

From tool to Gestell Agendas for managing the information infrastructure [PDF]

Claudio U. Ciborra and Ole Hanseth

'...tapping Heidegger's questioning about the essence of technology, we will establish an intriguing agenda able to evoke a new "disposition" ("management" will appear by then too strong a word) vis-à-vis infrastructure, and find through another case of corporate networking the embodiment of such different disposition.'

Archineering in Chinatime [PDF]

Tony Fry

"As Martin Heidegger's lifework demonstrated, to fail to learn about the phenomenon of time is to fail to learn about, for instance, world, being, reality, space, care, knowing, death, finitude, the uncanny and one's locatedness.18 For Heidegger, time was not something-in-itself, or elemental to instruments of its calculation, but rather lodged in the constitutive enablement of, for instance, change, becoming, coming to, emerging out of, springing forth from, locomotion and so on. This thinking is directly elaborated in his work but equally clearly suggested by his use of the German term Ereignis,19 which posits the temporality of creation and perception in an Aristotelian notion of time 'as nothing but event' - thus time is viewed as a relative located occurrence rather than as measured dislocated duration. The question of time for us, no matter the state or nature of our knowledge, thus cannot escape the time of our being, or our being as an event in which 'our being in time' and 'the idea of time' never meet."

Too Far, Yet Not Far Enough: A Heideggerian Response To Héctor José Huyke's Technologies And The Devaluation Of What Is Near

Syed Mustafa Ali

Heidegger in the Hands-on Science and Technology Center: Philosophical Reflections on Learning in Informal Settings

Richard Walton

Overcoming the Destining Of Technological Being

Craig A. Condella

'Herein we shall find that technology, as Heidegger sees it, has become the fundamental way of our dealing with the world. That said, I will take seriously Heidegger's claim that a certain destining is at work at the heart of modern technology and thereby delve back into the beginning of the modern era in an attempt to locate early indications of this destining. In doing so, I believe that we will find a conception of nature which is markedly and importantly different from the Aristotelian view which had previously dominated for centuries. I will thus conclude that something can be gained from Aristotle's view of the cosmos which inherently respects nature and thereby opens the way to an environmental philosophy not based primarily within the human subject.'

The Question of Technology: Convergence and Divergence in Heidegger and Jaspers

Ingo Farin

Thinking About Thinking About Technology

Paul B. Thompson

From Essentialism to Constructivism: Philosophy of Technology at the Crossroads

Andrew Feenberg

Heidegger On Traditional Language And Technological Language

Wanda Torres Gregory

ABSTRACT: On July 18, 1962, Martin Heidegger delivered a lecture entitled Traditional Language and Technological Language in which he argues that the opposition between these two languages concerns our very essence. I examine the nature of this opposition by developing his argument within his particular context and in the general light of his reflections on language. In different sections on technology and language, I summarize much of what he had said in previous writings on the topic (viz., "Die Frage nach der Technik" and "Der Weg zur Sprache"), including his preliminary comments contrasting instruction with teaching, and characterizing this reflection in terms of its uselessness. The central issue connecting these seemingly varying themes is the status of education in our modern technological age and, more specifically, of instruction in the mother tongue. Heidegger's concern for the status of instruction in the mother tongue is, as we will see later, directly connected to his distinction between the two forms of language.

On Contemporary Philosophies of Technology

Frank H. W. Edler

The Question Concerning Information Technology [PDF]

Thinking with Heidegger on the Essence of Information Technology

Lucas D. Introna

A Step on the Journey

A Conversation with Richard Coyne's Designing Information Technology in the Postmodern Age

David M. Frye

Cyberspace and Heidegger's Pragmatics [PDF]

Richard Coyne

The Essence of Questioning After Technology: Techne as Constraint and the Saving Power

Babette Babich

The Concept of Poiesis and Its Application in a Heideggerian Critique of Computationally Emergent Artificiality

Syed Mustafa Ali

The Metaphysics of Appearance: Heidegger's Critique of Technology

Richard Matthews

Things Analog and Digital

Patrick Crogan

"...Sobchack's suggestive allusion to Martin Heidegger's quest for the meaning of Being has inspired my foray in this paper into his work on the nature of "things" in framing this metaphysical paradox of the being of the morphing thing."

From Socrates to Expert Systems:The Limits and Dangers of Calculative Rationality

Telepistemology: Descartes' Last Stand

Hubert L. Dreyfus

The Metaphysics of Appearance: Heidegger's Critique of Technology

Richard Matthews

Informatics and Hermeneutics

Rafael Capurro

Technology and accounting: a purely ontic investigation?

Alec McHoul

Highway Bridges and Feasts: Heidegger and Borgmann on How to Affirm Technology

Hubert L. Dreyfus

Artificial Life: A Technoscience Leaving Modernity?

An anthropology of subjects and objects

Lars Risan

Techne and Politeia Revisited: Pragmatic Paths To Technological Revolution

Larry A. Hickman

philosophy and cognitive science

Serge Sharoff

Highway Bridges and Feasts: Heidegger and Borgmann on How to Affirm Technology

Hubert L. Dreyfus and Charles Spinosa

Questions Concerning Music Technology

From Heidegger's View to Feenberg's Subversive Rationalization

Agostino Di Scipio

Die Wissenschaft denkt nicht

('Science does not think'; ed.)

Jean-Michel Salanskis

in Tekhnema Journal of Philosophy and Technology

Heidegger, Habermas, and the Essence of Technology

Andrew Feenberg

Heidegger and Virtual Reality: The Implications of Heidegger's Thinking for Computer Representations

Richard Coyne

From Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology

Existential Phenomenology and Cognitive Science

Mark Wrathall and Sean Kelly


Why The Mind Isn't a Program (But Some Digital Computer Might Have a Mind)

Mark Okrent

in The Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy .

Hermeneutics: From Textual Explication to Computer Understanding?

John C. Mallery, Roger Hurwitz, Gavan Duffy

Published in The Encyclopedia of Artificial Intelligence, Stuart. C. Shapiro, editor, John Wiley &Sons, New York, 1987.
Discussions of the theoretical foundations of artificial intelligence increasingly refer to hermeneutics, a branch of continental European philosophy concerned with human understanding and the interpretation of written texts. Dreyfus and Winograd draw heavily on hermeneutics to question the feasibility of AI and cognitive science. But, hermeneutics also offers insights that may contribute to the understanding of meaning, translation, architectures for natural language understanding, and even to the methods suitable for scientific inquiry in AI. After briefly reviewing the historical development of hermeneutics as a method of interpretation, from its classical use through the modern debates, this article examines the contributions of hermeneutics to the human sciences. This background provides perspective for a review of recent hermeneutically-oriented AI research. This includes the Alker, Lehnert and Schneider computer-assisted techniques for coding the affective structures of narratives, the earlier positive proposal by Winograd, and subsequently Bateman, the later pessimistic Winograd and Flores on the possibility of AI, as well as the system-building efforts of Duffy and Mallery.

Martin Heidegger

A part of The Neutrality of Technology, a part of Media Determinism in Cyberspace, a hypertext by

Samuel Ebersole

Modern Technology's Problems and Promises

Patrick Mooney

Heidegger, Phenomenology and the Essence of Technology

Paul Gorner

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Created 1997/7/04
Last updated 2012/01/04
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