Positionality [4344]

For natural science, something only counts as presencing when it is calculable in advance and only insofar as it is. The predictability of natural processes, standard for all natural scientific representing, is the representational orderability of nature as the standing reserve of a succession. Whether this calculability turns out to be univocal and certain or merely remains probable and only conceivable statistically does not alter in the least the essence of nature as standing reserve, the only essence of nature admitted by the essence of technology.16 To be sure, atomic physics is experimentally and calculably of a different sort than classical physics. Thought in terms of its essence, however, it nevertheless remains the same physics.

In the world age of technology, nature is no limit of technology. There, nature is much more the fundamental piece of inventory of the technological standing reserve—and nothing else.

Nature is no longer even an object [Gegen-stand]. As the fundamental piece of the standing reserve in positionality, it is something constant whose standing and steadiness is determined solely by requisitioning. All that presences, even nature, essences in the manner of something constant in the standing reserve that positionality orders.

In its positioning, positionality is universal. It concerns all that presences; everything, not only in sum and sequentially, but everything insofar as everything that presences as such is here positioned in its very consistency by a requisitioning. Thus it changes nothing whether we properly note and establish this character of presencing every time and immediately, or, what is much more the case, whether we overlook it for a long time and continue to conceive the actuality of the actual in a customary manner, one that, strictly thought, is thoroughly confused.17

16. the machines—the atomic processes and the corresponding methods

17. cf. “Science and Reflection.” Translator’s Note: a 1953 lecture first published in Vorträge und Aufsätze in 1954, see Martin Heidegger, Vorträge und Aufsätze, Gesamtausgabe vol. 7, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt a.M.: Vittorio Klosterman, 2000), 37–65. English translation: “Science and Reflection,” in Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, ed. and trans. William Lovitt (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1977), 155–82.

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