The Question Concerning Technology

This is equally the case for art. Even today we readily name these two together : "art and science." Art also is represented as one sphere of cultural enterprise. But then we experience nothing of its essence. Regarded in terms of its essence, art is a consecration and a refuge in which the real bestows its long-hidden splendor upon man ever anew, that in such light he may see more purely and hear more clearly what addresses itself to his essence.

Science is no more a cultural activity of man than is art. Science is one way, and indeed one decisive way, in which all that is presents itself to us.

Therefore we must say : The reality within which man of today moves and attempts to maintain himself is, with regard to its fundamental characteristics, determined on an increasing scale by and in conjunction with that which we call Western European science.

When we ponder this ongoing event, it becomes evident that, in the Western world and during the eras of its history, science has developed such a power as could never have been met with on the earth before, and that consequently this power is ultimately to be spread over the entire globe.

Is science, then, nothing but a fabrication of man that has been elevated to this dominance in such a way as to allow us to assume that one day it can also be demolished again by the will of man through the resolutions of commissions ? Or does a greater destiny rule here? Is there, ruling in science, still something other than a mere wanting to know on the part of man? Thus it is, in fact. Something other reigns. But this other conceals itself from us so long as we give ourselves up to ordinary notions about science.

This other is a state of affairs that holds sway throughout all the sciences, but that remains hidden to the sciences themselves.