The Question Concerning Technology

Nature, in its objectness for modern physical science, is only one way in which what presences—which from of old has been named φύσις—reveals itself and sets itself in position for the refining characteristic of science. Even if physics as an object-area is unitary and self-contained, this objectness can never embrace the fullness of the coming to presence of nature. Scientific representation is never able to encompass the coming to presence of nature; for the objectness of nature is, antecedently, only one way in which nature exhibits itself. Nature thus remains for the science of physics that which cannot be gotten around. This phrase means two things here. First, nature is not to be "gotten around" inasmuch as theory never passes that which presences by, but rather remains directed toward it. Further, nature is not to be gotten around inasmuch as objectness as such prevents the representing and securing that correspond to it from ever being able to encompass the essential fullness of nature. It is this, at bottom, that haunted Goethe in his abortive struggle with Newtonian physics. Goethe could not yet see that his intuitive representing of nature also moves within the medium of objectness, within the subject-object relation, and therefore in principle is not different from physics and remains the same metaphysically as physics. Scientific representation, for its part, can never decide whether nature, through its objectness, does not rather withdraw itself than bring to appearance the hidden fullness of its coming to presence. Science cannot even ask this question, for, as theory, it has already undertaken to deal with the area circumscribed by objectness.

In the objectness of nature to which physics as objectification corresponds, that which—in a twofold sense—is not to be gotten around holds sway. As soon as we have once caught sight in one science of that which is not to be gotten around and have also considered it somewhat, we see it easily in every other.

Psychiatry strives to observe the life of the human soul in its sick—and that means always simultaneously in its healthy—manifestations. It represents these in terms of the objectness of the bodily-psychical-spiritual unity of the whole man. At any given time human existence, which is already presencing, displays itself in the objectness belonging to psychiatry. The openness for-Being [Da-sein] in which man as man ek-sists, remains that which for psychiatry is not to be gotten around.