The Question Concerning Technology

the permanent enduring of an Idea that hovers over everything technological, thus making it seem that by technology we mean some mythological abstraction? The way in which technology essences lets itself be seen only from out of that permanent enduring in which Enframing comes to pass as a destining of revealing. Goethe once uses the mysterious word fortgewähren [to grant permanently] in place of fortwähren [to endure permanently].* He hears währen [to endure] and gewähren [to grant] here in one unarticulated accord?4 And if we now ponder more carefully than we did before what it is that actually endures and perhaps alone endures, we may venture to say: Only what is granted endures. That which endures primally out of the earliest beginning is what grants.25

As the essencing of technology, Enframing is that which endures. Does Enframing hold sway at all in the sense of granting? No doubt the question seems a horrendous blunder. For according to everything that has been said, Enframing is, rather, a destining that gathers together into the revealing that challenges forth. Challenging is anything but a granting. 50 it seems, so long as we do not notice that the challenging-forth into the ordering of the real as standing-reserve still remains a destining that starts man upon a way of revealing. As this destining, the coming to presence of technology gives man entry into That which, of himself, he can neither invent nor in any way make. For there is no such thing as a man who, solely of himself, is only man.

But if this destining, Enframing, is the extreme danger, not only for man's coming to presence, but for all revealing as such, should this destining still be called a granting? Yes, most emphatically,

* "Die Wahlverwandtschaften" [Congeniality] , pt. II, chap. 10, in the novelette Die wunderlichen Nachbarskinder [The strange neighbor's children].

24. The verb gewähren is closely allied to the verbs währen (to endure) and wahren (to watch over, to keep safe, to preserve). Gewähren ordinarily means to be surety for, to warrant, to vouchsafe, to grant. In the discussion that follows, the verb will be translated simply with "to grant." But the reader should keep in mind also the connotations of safeguarding and guaranteeing that are present in it as well.

25. Nur das Gewährte währt. Das anfänglich aus der Frühe Währende ist das Gewährende. A literal translation of the second sentence would be, "That which endures primally from out of the early. . . ." On the meaning of "the early," see n. 20 above.