The Question Concerning Technology

The methodology, characterized by entrapping securing, that belongs to all theory of the real is a reckoning-up. We should not, of course, understand this term in the narrow sense of performing an operation with numbers. To reckon, in the broad, essential sense, means : to reckon with something, i.e., to take it into account; to reckon on something, i.e., to set it up as an object of expectation. In this way, all objectification of the real is a reckoning, whether through causal explanation it pursues the consequences of causes, whether through morphology it puts itself into the picture in precedence over objects, or whether in its fundamental elements it secures and guarantees some coherence of sequence and order. Mathematics also is not a reckoning in the sense of performing operations with numbers for the purpose of establishing quantitative results; but, on the contrary, mathematics is the reckoning that, everywhere by means of equations, has set up as the goal of its expectation the harmonizing of all relations of order, and that therefore "reckons" in advance with one fundamental equation for all merely possible ordering.

Because modern science as the theory of the real depends on the precedence that attaches to its method, therefore it must, as a securing of object-areas, delimit these areas over against one another and localize them, as thus delimited, within compartments, i.e., compartmentalize them. The theory of the real is necessarily departmentalized science.

Investigation of an object-area must, in the course of its work, agree with the particular form and modification possessed at any given time by the objects belonging to that area. Such agreement with the particular transforms the procedure of a branch of science into specialized research. Specialization, therefore, is in no way either a deterioration due to some blindness or a manifestation of the decline of modern science. Specialization is also not merely an unavoidable evil. It is a necessary consequence, and indeed the positive consequence, of the coming to presence [Wesen] of modern science.

The delimiting of object-areas, the compartmentalizing of these into special provinces, does not split the sciences off from one another, but rather it first yields a border traffic between them by means of which boundary areas are marked out.