Four Seminars [93–95]

only serving to master and dominate the being as object. This is already operative in the thinking of Galileo, which is even prior to the Discours de la Méthode.

We are beginning to see to what extent technology is not grounded in physics, but rather the reverse, physics is grounded upon the essence of technology.

Supplementary elucidations regarding effect:

Effect means: 1) the result of that which is “previously posited” in a theory.

2) The objective establishment of reality upon the basis of the arbitrary repeatability of an experiment.

The scientific concept of effect is explained by the proposition of the “Second Analogy of Experience” in Kant: “Everything that happens, that is, begins to be, presupposes something upon which it follows according to a rule.”95 This “upon which” is to be understood expressly in the sense of simple succession and not in the sense of a from out of which. For modern physics, thunder follows lightning, and that is all. This physics ever only observes nature as a succession of things that follow upon one another, and no longer as a course of things emerging from each other, as was the case for Aristotle.

What for Aristotle was a development [Auseinanderfolge] (the result of an emerging out of; ἐκ-εἰς), becomes a succession [Aufeinanderfolge] (through the determination of the result as sequential)—this due to the fact that the first idea is only an “occult quality,” brought into disrepute by the Cartesians, though nonetheless rehabilitated in a certain sense by Leibniz.

September 9

Heidegger begins with a few additions to the determination of the concept of theory, for which a start had been made in the previous session. He points out that the concept of theory developed by Newton and Galileo stands in the middle between θεωρία in the Greek sense and the contemporary significance of the word. From the Greek interpretation, this concept retains an ontological view of nature, which is regarded as the totality of movement in space and time. Opposed to this, the contemporary theory gives up this ontological tendency; it is solely the establishing of the elements required for an experiment, or, if one prefers, the operating instructions for carrying out an experiment.

On this, Jean Beaufret referred to Vorträge und Aufsätze: “The phenomena no longer appear, rather they are announced.”96 This “announcing,” Heidegger explained, is to be understood in such a way that the theory of modern physics, however operatively it might proceed, cannot lead to a completely invented system. Instead, there must always be

95 Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, A 189.

96 TN: Beaufret’s reference is not a direct citation, as one may be led to believe from the reference provided by the German text. Instead, Beaufret’s remark recapitulates developments found on pages 26–27 of the essay “The Question Concerning Technology,” in Vorträge und Aufsätze 7th ed. (Stuttgart: Verlag Günther Neske, 1994), English translation in Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, trans. William Lovitt (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), p. 23, tm:

Hence physics, in all its retreating from the representation turned only toward objects that has alone been standard till recently, will never be able to renounce this one thing: that nature announces itself in some way or other that is identifiable through calculation and that it remains orderable as a system of information. . . . It seems as though causality is shrinking into an announcing—an announcing challenged forth—of standing-reserves that must be guaranteed either simultaneously or in sequence.