The Question Concerning Technology

The real thus becomes surveyable and capable of being followed out in its sequences. The real becomes secured in its objectness. From this there result spheres or areas of objects that scientific observation can entrap after its fashion.24 Entrapping representation, which secures everything in that objectness which is thus capable of being followed out, is the fundamental characteristic of the representing through which modern science corresponds to the real. But then the all-decisive work [Arbeit] that such representing performs in every science is that refining of the real which first in any way at all expressly works the real out into an objectness through which everything real is recast in advance into a diversity of objects for the entrapping securing.

The fact that what presences—e.g., nature, man, history, language—sets itself forth as the real in its objectness, the fact that as a complement to this science is transformed into theory that entraps the real and secures it in objectness, would have been as strange to medieval man as it would have been dismaying to Greek thought.

Thus modern science, as the theory of the real, is not anything self-evident. It is neither a mere construct of man nor something extorted from the real. Quite to the contrary, the essence of science is rendered necessary by the presencing of what presences at the moment when presencing sets itself forth into the objectness of the real.

24. "Spheres or areas of objects" translates Gebiete von Gegenständen, a phrase that Heidegger employs only at this one point in the essay. His Gegenstandsgebiet, used frequently in the following pages, is translated as "object-area" to distinguish it from the nearly synonymous Gegenstandsbezirk, translated as "object-sphere" in AWP.