The Question Concerning Technology

Again we ask : Does this revealing happen somewhere beyond all human doing? No. But neither does it happen exclusively in man, or decisively through man.

Enframing is the gathering together that belongs to that setting-upon which sets upon man and puts him in position to reveal the real, 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 comes to presence.

The essence of modern technology starts man upon the way of that revealing through which the real everywhere, more or less distinctly, becomes standing-reserve. "To start upon a way" means "to send" in our ordinary language. We shall call that sending-that-gathers [versammelde Schicken] which first starts man upon a way of revealing, destining [Geschick].21 It is from out of this destining that the essence of all history [Geschichte] is determined. History is neither simply the object of written chronicle nor simply the fulfillment 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.

Enframing, as a challenging-forth into ordering, sends into a way of revealing. Enframing is an ordaining of destining, as is

21. For a further presentation of the meaning resident in Geschick and the related verb schicken, d. T 38 ff., and Introduction, pp. xxviii ff.

* See Vom Wesen der Wahrheit, 1930; 1st ed., 1943, pp. 16 ff. [English translation, "On the Essence of Truth," in Existence and Being, ed. Werner Brock (Chicago : Regnery, 1949), pp. 308 ff.]