What does ἐπιστήμη mean? The corresponding verb is ἐπίστασθαι, which means to place oneself before something, to linger with it and stand before it, so that it may show itself within its own aspect. ἐπίστασις also means the action of lingering before something, attending to it. This attendant lingering before something, ἐπιστήμη, yields and entails that we become, and then are, acquainted [192] with that before which we stand. Thus acquainted with the matter in front of which, and toward which, we attentively and lingeringly stand, we are able to stand before it. Being able to stand before a matter: this means to understand it. We thereby translate ἐπιστήμη as “to-understand-something.”

Very oft en one translates the word as “science,” inadvertently (and thus also imprecisely and only provisionally) meaning contemporary, modern science. This modern science is in its innermost core of a technical essence, which is becoming increasingly visible in the course of contemporary history. Our assertion that contemporary science is a necessary consummation of modern technology is, by necessity, an alienating claim. This alienation would persist even if we were able to say outright of what the essence of modern technology consists. However, this cannot readily be said, in part because this essence still remains partially concealed, and also in part because what can already be illuminated about the essence of modern technology cannot be transposed into a few sentences. Only one thing can be indicated given even minimally attentive thinking: namely, that the sciences of inanimate and animate nature, and also the sciences of the historical and its works, are ever more clearly developing themselves in a manner akin to how the contemporary human uses explanations to gain mastery over the ‘world,’ the ‘earth,’ ‘nature,’ ‘history,’ as well as all else, in order to then use these explained sectors according to plan (or need) for a securing and bolstering of the will to become master of the world in the sense of ordering it. This will is the ground and essential domain of modern technology: a will which, in all planning and examining and in all that is willed and attained, only wills itself, all the while equipped with the ever-increasing possibility of this self-willing. Technology is the organization and the enactment of the will to will. The varied forms of humanity, [193] peoples, and nations—these groups and the individual members of whom they are comprised— are everywhere only what is willed by this will, and not themselves the origin and caretaker of this will. Rather, they are merely its oft en unwilling enactors.

What is the purpose of this reference to modern technology and the thoroughly technological character of modern science? It is supposed to lead us to a consideration of whether we are permitted in translating the Greek word ἐπιστήμη (i.e., “to-understand-something”) with the word “science.” If by this word we mean only modern science and only in an approximate sense—a state of affairs that certainly suggests itself, albeit through a lack of reflection—then the translation is incorrect. Nonetheless, there remains something truthful in the rendering of the Greek word ἐπιστήμη with the German word “Wissenschaft” [“science”], and precisely when we are thinking of the technological character of modern science.

The term 'logic'    147