The Question Concerning Technology

It is the way in which the actual reveals itself as standing-reserve. Again we ask: Does such revealing happen somewhere beyond all human doing? No. But neither does it happen exclusively in man, or definitively through man.

Enframing is the gathering together which belongs to that setting- upon which challenges man and puts him in position to reveal the actual, in the mode of ordering, as standing-reserve. As the one who is challenged forth in this way, man stands within the essential realm of enframing. He can never take up a relationship to it only subsequently. Thus the question as to how we are to arrive at a relationship to the essence of technology, asked in this way, always comes too late. But never too late comes the question as to whether we actually experience ourselves as the ones whose activities everywhere, public and private, are challenged forth by enframing. Above all, never too late comes the question as to whether and how we actually admit ourselves into that wherein enframing itself essentially unfolds.

The essence of modern technology starts man upon the way of that revealing through which the actual everywhere, more or less distinctly, becomes standing-reserve. "To start upon a way" means "to send" in our ordinary language. We shall call the sending that gathers [versammelnde Schicken], that first starts man upon a way of revealing, destining [Geschick]. It is from this destining that the essence of all history [Geschichte] is determined. History is neither simply the object of written chronicle nor merely the process of human activity. That activity first becomes history as something destined.' And it is only the destining into objectifying representation that makes the historical accessible as an object for historiography, i.e., for a science, and on this basis makes possible the current equating of the historical with that which is chronicled.

2. See "On the Essence of Truth" (1930), first edition 1943, pp. 16ff. [Cf. above, p. 126ff.—ED.]

Martin Heidegger (GA 7) The Question Concerning Technology - Basic Writings