Basic Principles of Thinking [123–24]

For ourselves, let us finally set aside conceiving the technological merely technologically, i.e., starting from the human and its machines. In this age, let us attend to the claim under which there stands not only the human, but all beings, nature and history, in respect to their being.

What claim do we mean? Out whole Dasein finds itself everywhere challenged to take up the planning and calculating of everything. What speaks in this challenge? Does it spring from a self-made human whim? Or do not all beings already only concern us insofar as they address us is in planability and calculability? What comes to light here? Nothing less than this: The human is challenged, i.e., positioned, to the same extent that being is. The being of beings is itself challenged, i.e., positioned, to let beings presence in planability and calculability, first of all the human, so that he secures the beings that concern him as the standing reserve for his planning and calculating, and that he drives this requisitioning interminably. The claim that lets the being appear in planability and calculability and that also challenges the human into requisitioning the beings that thereby appear, this claim constitutes the constellation in which we reside. The whole essence of the modern technological world is determined by this.

The name for the gathering of the challenges that being and the human deliver to each other such that they reciprocally position one another is "positionality" [das Ge-Stell]. One is unjustly jarred by this word. Instead of "placing" [Stellen] we also say "setting" [Setzen] and find nothing wrong in our use of the word "law" [Gesetz]. We understand the word "positionality" as corresponding to the word "law." Positionality is the collection of standards for all setting, placing, and ordering, wherein the human and being concernfully approach one another. Positionality lets the human and being belong to each other in a bewildering manner. It is bewildering because we no longer find what positionality means within the representational horizon that lets us think the being of beings. For at one time, that which is to be thought in the word "positionality" did not lie over against the human. Positionality no longer concernfully approaches us like being as presencing [An-wesen]. Positionality first determines being in a togetherness with the human. But