The Southern Journal of Philosophy (2000) Vol. XXXVIII


From φύσις to Nature, τέχνη to Technology:
Heidegger on Aristotle, Galileo, and Newton

Trish Glazebrook


In the 1950s, Martin Heidegger claimed that the essence of technology is itself nothing technological (WHD, 155/WCT, 135; VA, 9/QCT, 4).1 Rather, he argued that technicity is a way of being that informs both human being and beings. I wish to draw attention to two points of Aristotelian influence on this well-known analysis of technology, and two points of Heidegger's resistance to that influence. First, Aristotle held that to know is to become one with the thing known, and that therefore different kinds of thing lead to different kinds of knowledge. Heidegger translates Aristotle on this point in 1940 (GA 9, 276/BCP, 250; Physics 2.1.193a31-32). Heidegger's insight that the essence of technology is not a technological thing but rather a way of revealing stands in agreement with the Aristotelian correlation between knowledge and what is known. Heidegger disagrees, however, that things inform knowledge. Heidegger's analysis of technicity shows that knowledge correlates with things because it informs their very being. That is to say, the danger of technicity is that it reduces all the beings it encounters to resources available for technological exploitation.

Secondly, the essence of technology is for Heidegger a way of revealing the being of nature. Hence, it is a way of knowing. To say that technology is essentially a way of knowing is not to mistake Heidegger's ontological point for an epistemological one. Rather, it is to suggest that Heidegger agrees with Aristotle: to know is essential to human being's very being. Aristotle opens the Metaphysics with the claim that "all human beings by nature desires to know" (980a22). As Will McNeill has pointed out, Heidegger discusses this claim in at least three places.2 Likewise, Heidegger defines Dasein as the inquirer. Technicity is for Heidegger a way of knowing that is at the essence of human being and that underwrites the human experience of beings in modernity.

What I am suggesting, then, is that Heidegger's analysis of technology in the 1950s is informed by his reading of Aristotle in 1940. I will use this suggestion to argue further that in Heidegger's analysis, the history of technology is embedded in the history of science as a result of the Aristotelian metaphysics of matter and form. Heidegger's analysis of technology reveals and resists a modern metaphysics of subjectivity by resisting precisely that Aristotelian metaphysics.

In order to make this argument as clearly as possible, I will use the term "science" broadly to indicate the human inquiry into nature, unless I specify either "Aristotelian science" or "modern science." Such broad use of the term "science" is highly unsatisfactory. Yet the question of what Heidegger means by Wissenschaft is equally unresolved throughout his work. I have elsewhere grappled with this issue. Here I restrict myself to the question of the relation, both ancient and modern, between science and technology for Heidegger, and I work with precise Heideggerian formulations of what science is where it is appropriate to do so. Accordingly, I use "science" to mean quite generally the body of knowledge concerning nature for which physics is paradigmatic, but to which biology is also integral. Whatever it is that philosophers of science take themselves to be philosophers of is the referent for my use of the term here.


I. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


Much has been done with Heidegger's analysis of technology. Likewise, more recently Heidegger's critique of science has been brought to light.3 What then of the relation between technology and science? Heidegger argues in the 1950s that "modern science is grounded in the nature of technology" (WHD, 155/WCT, 135). He holds, furthermore, that the ancient distinction between physics and production, between nature and artifact, is collapsed in modernity. Heidegger's work on Aristotle, Galileo, and Newton tracks that collapse. I will show that in Heidegger's analysis, Aristotle understands nature as moving towards its own end, while modern science precludes such a teleological conception and thus makes nature available for technological appropriation to human ends. This is for Heidegger the relation between science and technology.

In what is reportedly the last of his writings, an address to the 10th annual Heidegger conference at DePaul University, Chicago in May of 1976, Heidegger asks:

Is modern natural science the foundation (Grundlage) of modern technology—as is supposed—or is it, for its part, already the basic form of technological thinking, the determining fore-conception and incessant incursion of technological representation into the realized and organized machinations of modern technology? (MNST, 3)

"Foundation" (Grundlage) literally means "ground-laying." Heidegger is asking in the first part of his question whether modern natural science can be understood as the theoretical groundwork that has its application in technology. Is science the knowledge that makes technology possible? A quick look back to the technology essay of 1955 reveals that modern science must be more than the foundation of modern technology for Heidegger. There he argues that technology is not just applied science. Understanding technology to be applied science is not wrong, but is sorely inadequate, for technology is in its essence much more. It is a truth, a way of revealing. In 1976, however, Heidegger's question suggests that it is in fact wrong, and not simply inadequate, to consider modern science to be foundational to technology.

The alternative in Heidegger's disjunction asks whether modern science is already in essence technology; that is, whether modern science has the representational thinking definitive of technology, which Heidegger first called "Ge-stell" in 1950, as the form of its thinking. If the answer to this question is yes, then science is not the foundation of technology, but rather the self-assertion of instrumental reason. That is, science is not ground laying for technology, but rather is itself informed by technology. This development over the 1955 account asks whether technology does not have priority, both logical and ontological, over science. Heidegger's answer to this question is: absolutely. In What Is Called Thinking? he argues that the essence of science lies at the essence of technology. By way of a more thorough substantiation of this interpretation, however, I will retrieve Heidegger's critical history of the relation between science and technology through his work on Aristotle, Galileo, and Newton.

In a lecture course on Aristotle's Physics from 1940, Heidegger argues that φύσις, nature, cannot be understood by analogy with τέχνη artifacts. The difference between φύσις and τέχνη is for him a pre-Socratic distinction that he finds echoed in Aristotle's Physics. It serves to demarcate theoretical from productive knowledge for the Stagirite. Heidegger's insight is that what was for the pre-Socratics a difference so radical there could be no identity even by analogy is not sustained in modernity. When he read Galileo and Newton in the 1930s, Heidegger discovered that modern science is not trivially but rather essentially different from ancient θεωρία. The difference consists in the collapse of the ancient distinction between θεωρία, specifically theoretical physics, and τέχνη, production. By thinking with Heidegger through Die Frage nach dem Ding about Galileo and Newton, and through "On the Being and Conception of Φύσις in Aristotle's Physics B, 1" about Aristotle, I show on the basis of the Bremen lectures that, in Heidegger's analysis, a trace of ancient τέχνη remains at the essence of modern science and likewise at the essence of technology. That trace is Ge-stell . This is the sense in which the essence of science is for Heidegger the essence of technology, and in which modern natural science is "already the basic form of technological thinking, the determining fore-conception and incessant incursion of technological representation into the realized and organized machinations of modern technology."


II. φύσις AND τέχνη


The most obvious distinction between φύσις and τέχνη is readily discernable. Φύσις is an object of a particular branch of θεωρία: it is the thing under study. Τέχνη, on the other hand, is a division within knowledge, as are θεωρία and πρᾶξις. Yet this difference, between the knowing and the known, plays a role in neither Aristotle's nor Heidegger's argument. Heidegger translates Aristotle:

Just as we (loosely) call by the name τέχνη those things which are produced in accordance with such a know-how, as well as those which belong to this kind of being, so also we (loosely) call by the name φύσις those things which are in accordance with φύσις and hence belong to beings of this kind.4 (GA 9, 276/BCP, 250; Physics 2.1.193a31-32)

Heidegger introduces the parenthetical word "loosely," but this is consistent with Aristotle's intent. What is at stake is the distinction between natural things and things that are produced: it is the difference between things that Heidegger wishes to elucidate. This distinction is fundamental, for it is on the basis of this distinction between things that Aristotle distinguishes the study of nature from the knowledge of how to produce. Indeed, for Aristotle, to know is to become one with the thing known, and different things therefore constitute and require different kinds of knowledge. He regularly distinguishes kinds of knowledge on the basis of distinct objects. Physics is different from production for Aristotle in that each has its own object, nature, and artifact, respectively. The difference between artifacts and nature in Heidegger's reading of Aristotle is that they are generated, that is, move from potentiality to actuality differently.

In the 1940 lecture course on Aristotle's Physics, Heidegger argues that an analogy between τέχνη and φύσις, in which nature is understood as a self-making artifact, is a misinterpretation of the δυνάμει ὄν, the potential. In Heidegger's reading, Antiphon "changes [the δυνάμει ὄν] from 'the appropriated' to something merely 'order-able' and 'on hand"' (GA 9, 298/BCP, 267). In Antiphon's account, a thing is constituted by an actualizing form imposed upon the potentiality of matter in both φύσις and τέχνη alike. Matter is, under Heidegger's account of why Aristotle is not satisfied with Antiphon's view, simply what is available to be ordered and used. Heidegger accuses Antiphon of taking the δυνάμει ὄν to be simply the power of material to receive an ordering form.

Aristotle, Heidegger argues, construes potentiality differently. It is that which is originally appropriate to being as φύσις. Heidegger herein finds in Aristotle's Physics the

last echo of the original thoughtful projection of the Being of φύσις as this is still preserved for us in the fragments of Anaximander, Heraclitus and Parmenides. (GA 9, 242/BCP, 224)

We read as early as "On the Essence of Truth" (WW, 189-190/BW, 129), again in Introduction to Metaphysics (EM, 46/IM, 60-61), and still again at Paragraph 111 of the Beiträge, that being was φύσις for the Greeks, by whom we can only assume Heidegger means those thinkers of whom he takes Aristotle to be a culmination. The thesis that being was φύσις for the Greeks makes sense of Heidegger's otherwise enigmatic claim that in "a quite basic sense, meta-physics is 'physics,' i.e., knowledge of φύσις" (GA 9, 241/BCP, 223).

Heidegger sees Aristotle as a cusp. On one hand, he is the last echo of the pre-Socratic interpretation of being as φύσις. On the other hand, Aristotle is the separation of physics from metaphysics, for Aristotle is quite clear in Physics 1.2 that physics directs itself toward τὰ φυσικά, whose definitive characteristic is motion. At Metaphysics 4.2, however, Aristotle is at some pains to show that metaphysics is the science that directs itself at being. He shows this by means of his analogy of being. As there are many ways, i.e., πρὸς ἤν equivocals, in which to say that something is healthy (because it preserves, produces, is symptomatic of, or is capable of health), and also many ways to say something is medical (it possesses, is naturally adapted to, or is a function of medicine), so there are many ways in which a thing can be said to be. As the many ways a thing can be said to be healthy take their meaning from the focal instance of health, and likewise medical from medicine, so the many ways in which a thing may be said to be all take their meaning from a focal instance of being: substance (οὐσία).

Aristotle distinguishes the metaphysician from the physicist by claiming that the former's "inquiry is universal and deals with primary substance" (1005b1), whereas physicists must have grasped first principles and causes "already when they come to a special study, and [should] not be inquiring into them while they are listening to lectures on it" (1005b4-5). So while the physicist has, in Aristotle's account, already established what Heidegger called in Being and Time "basic concepts" (SZ, 9/BT, 29), and what he described as regional ontology in Basic Problems of Phenomenology (GA 24, 17/BPP, 13), metaphysics consists in the inquiry into substance, the focal instance of being from which the many ways a thing can be said to be all take their meaning. In fact, Heidegger's distinction between metaphysics and the positive sciences in Basic Problems of Phenomenology is much like Aristotle's distinction between metaphysics and physics. Whereas metaphysics has as its object being, sciences assume a metaphysics and are directed at particular beings.

Heidegger is, by the time he lectures on Aristotle's Physics in 1940, already long familiar with the analogy of being. It was central to his introduction to Aristotle through Brentano's dissertation, On the Several Senses of Being in Aristotle, which Heidegger first encountered in 1907 and which he later claimed was the driving force behind Being and Time.5 In that text, he argues that it is Aristotle's analogy of being that put the problem of being "on what was, in principle, a new basis" (SZ, 3/BT, 22). Furthermore, Heidegger's explication of πρὸς ἤν equivocals in his lectures on Metaphysics 9.1-3 in 1931 makes it clear that he understands how the analogy of being works (GA 33, 26-48, esp. 38-42/AM, 21-39, esp. 30-34). In 1940, Heidegger argues that metaphysics is "that knowledge wherein Western historical man preserves the truth of his relations to beings as a whole and the truth about those beings themselves" (GA 9, 241/BCP, 223), and he holds that the Greek word "φύσις" "harbors within itself decisions" (GA 9, 241/BCP, 223) about precisely that. Hence, Aristotle's thinking of both metaphysics and physics is decisive for Heidegger in the history of being.

Aristotle is decisive for Heidegger in that he is the turning point who first severed physics from metaphysics. But at the same time, argues Heidegger, contained in Aristotle's Physics is a last echo of pre-Socratic wisdom. That echo Heidegger calls "the basic notion of Western metaphysics": ἐντελέχεια (GA 9, 282/BCP, 255).6 ἐντελέχεια is the counterpart to the δυνάμει ὄν. It is actuality in contrast to potentiality. What the term means, however, is not so clear, and the source of much debate.

Aristotle does not define "actuality," but argues instead that actuality must be grasped by analogy with potentiality. He gives a list of examples that is worth reprinting:

Actuality, then, is the existence of a thing not in the way which we express by "potentially"; we say that potentially, for instance, a statue of Hermes is in the block of wood and the half-line is in the whole, because it might be separated out, and we call even the man who is not studying a man of science, if he is capable of studying; the thing that stands in contrast to each of these exists actually ... it is as that which is building is to that which is capable of building, and the waking to the sleeping, and that which is seeing to that which has its eyes shut but has sight, and that which has been wrought to the unwrought. Let actuality be defined by one member of this antithesis, and the potential by the other. (Metaphysics 9.6.1048a31-b5)

The first point to be noted is that the terms actuality and potentiality apply equally well in cases of τέχνη, like making a statue or building a house, and in cases of φύσις, like knowing, waking, and sight. Both φύσις and τέχνη can be said to be actually or potentially. How, then, does Heidegger intend to understand the difference between φύσις and τέχνη on the basis of ἐντελέχεια? Heidegger argues that the difference between nature and artifact lies in how each comes into being, how each moves from potentiality to actuality. Hence he claims that ἐντελέχεια must be understood on the basis of Aristotle's account of motion. It is the movement that is the actuality of φύσις versus that of τέχνη that distinguishes the two. What, then, of this motion?

Heidegger tells us that Antiphon held the difference between motion and rest to be that between the fleeting and the eternal. Eternal are the elements, which are the material substratum of the ever-changing things encountered in experience. Antiphon takes a thing to be matter onto which an actualizing form has been imposed. But, Heidegger points out, the process of growth and decay happens without interruption. The substratum may be permanent, but this does not distinguish it from the changeable because change is itself a constant for the Greeks (GA 9, 270/BCP, 245). Heidegger is satisfied neither with Antiphon's account of actuality nor his account of motion.

An alternative account of actuality, one that can be gleaned from Aristotle's list of actualities set against potentialities, is that actuality is an activity. Seeing is an activity in a sense that having one's eyes closed is not. Likewise, building in contrast to the builder who is not building, and waking in contrast to sleeping, are activities. This is consistent with Metaphysics 9.3. 1047a31. Here Aristotle says that actuality is an activity and that its primary sense is movement. Accordingly, Heidegger is right to claim that understanding ἐντελέχεια depends upon understanding Aristotle's concept of motion. In what sense, then, is actuality a motion for Aristotle?

One need not read far into Aristotle's Physics to realize that his conception of motion is broader than the modern restriction of motion to locomotion. It includes also quantitative change: growth and decrease; qualitative change: alteration; and substantial change: generation and destruction. Heidegger argues that to generation, γένεσις, the movement of a thing that is its coming into being, is "reserved the task of marking out the Being of φύσις"(GA 9, 288 / BCP, 259). Now this seems an odd claim about Aristotle, given that at Physics 2.1.192b14-20, precisely where Aristotle distinguishes φύσις from τέχνη, he claims that things that exist by nature contain their own principle of motion "in respect of place, or of growth and decrease, or by way of alteration" (192b16), and he omits generation from the list. It is exactly here that generation should be mentioned, if it is to be the fulcrum by means of which Heidegger can pry φύσις and τέχνη apart. Yet Heidegger is well aware of this omission. Rather than overlooking it, he makes it central to his argument.

Heidegger argues that

γένεσις is that kind of being-moved which Aristotle omitted when he listed the types of movement in his introductory characterization of κίνησις as μεταβολή, because to it he reserved the task of marking out the being of φύσις as μορφή. (GA 9, 288/BCP, 259)

When Aristotle asks about the being of φύσις at Physics 2.1, he asks whether φύσις is matter (ὕλη) or form (μορφή). His answer is that nature is both, but it is first and foremost form since it is the form that makes the thing actual, when it has "attained to fulfillment" (193b8). When Aristotle first characterizes motion, he leaves generation aside since it is very much a special case for him. Actualization as the attainment of form, i.e., generation, coming into being, demarcates nature from artifact for Aristotle, but does not fit well into his conceptual modeling of motion.

In the Physics, Aristotle begins inquiry by asking the number and nature of the principles of φύσις. He argues at 1.2 that φύσις is characterized by motion, and claims that he need not prove this claim (as the geometer is under no obligation to prove axioms) since it is obvious to those who look that at least some things in nature are in motion and, by induction, τὰ φυσικά move. His answer to the question of the number of principles of φύσις is based on this thesis. Since τὰ φυσικά move, there are either two or three principles, depending on whether one treats τὰ φυσικά as simple or composite. Taken simply, there are three principles: some feature of a substance prior to modification, the feature after modification, and the substance that persists throughout modification. For example, unmusical, musical, and the man who becomes musical. Taken instead as composites of substance and attribute, there are two principles: the unmusical man and the musical man. Both of these models of motion rely on there being some thing that undergoes change. But, since generation is precisely the coming into being of a thing, and destruction is its passing away, it is not clear how generation is a motion at all, never mind the motion that demarcates the being of φύσις.

One way to respond to this problem is to argue that prime matter, i.e., formless material, is the underlying substratum that persists during generation. In Heidegger's account, however, this is precisely Antiphon's wrongheaded account that Aristotle rejects in favor of a deeper one, for prime matter is the potential reduced to what is "merely 'order-able' and 'on hand"' in such an account (GA 9, 298/BCP, 267). Aristotle's account is indeed more subtle, for he argues at Physics 5.1 that generation is a special kind of motion. It is μεταβολή but not in the sense of alteration, growth, or locomotion, which are κίνησις. Wicksteed and Cornford distinguish the two in the Loeb edition of the Physics by translating the former as "transition" and the latter as "movement." A thoughtful account of Aristotle looks not to prime matter to think the enigma of generation. Aristotle's universe has nowhere in it unformed matter waiting for some form to be imposed upon it. Rather, generation is a special case of motion. It is a transition of substance to substance. Formed matter becomes differently formed matter.

Heidegger explains this difficult point in Aristotle by arguing that Aristotle understood motion in the sense of coming to be in terms of rest. He argues that the

purest manifestation of being-moved is to be sought where rest does not mean the breaking off and stopping of movement, but rather where being-moved gathers itself up into standing still, and where this ingathering, far from excluding being-moved, includes and for the first time discloses it. (GA 9, 284/BCP, 256)

Rest does not happen when movement stops, but rather is a fulfillment. This is the sense in which actuality is an activity for Aristotle. It is an activity that Heidegger reads as also a stillness, a gathering up of movement into an end. In his 1930 lecture course on Metaphysics 9.1-3, Heidegger gave the example of a runner at the starting line immediately prior to a race. The runner is still, but the stance and composure of the runner are a gathering together that can only be dissipated by subsequent running. It is in this moment of stillness immediately prior to running that the runner is most clearly actualized in Heidegger's account (GA 33, 218/AM 187-188). A thing is actual under Heidegger's reading of Aristotle when it is gathered together and lies before the speaker such that it can be called that thing,7 whether it is produced or natural. A piece of bronze is not called a statue, nor an acorn an oak tree, except potentially. How, then, does the gathering together of a thing in actuality distinguish what is natural from what is produced?

In the Physics, Aristotle says that φύσις, "a source or cause of being moved or at rest" (192b8). It is a generative cause, for "Of things that exist, some exist by φύσις, some from other causes" (192b8). τέχνη is precisely another such cause. Heidegger argues that these are not efficient causes (GA 9, 246/BCP, 227; cf. GA 9, 254/BCP, 233). Rather each is an origin, an ἀρχή from which a thing comes to be what it is: a thing in nature such as a tree, for example, or an artifact such as a house. In the case of both φύσις and τέχνη, the ἀρχή is also the final cause, the τέλος. This is to say, the end of φύσις is φύσις in that things that come to be from nature move toward other things that are specifically identical. Trees tend toward generating more trees, for example. Elsewhere Aristotle describes human procreation as a striving toward the divine by attempting to become one and eternal in the species.8 Likewise in the case of τέχνη, the final cause is also the ἀρχή, for the final cause "is the reason, and the reason forms the starting-point, alike in the works of art and in the works of nature."9 Φύσις and τέχνη are both ἀρχή and τέλος.

The difference between φύσις and τέχνη that an artifact reaches its stillness, that is, comes to be what it is, differently than a natural thing. An artifact is actual when production is finished and the thing has been made present in production. For Aristotle, in Heidegger's account,

the issue here is to show that artifacts are what they are and how they are precisely in the being-moved of production and thus in the rest of having-been-produced. (GA 9, 251/BCP, 230-231)

The "rest of having-been-produced" is indeed here crucial in distinguishing φύσις from τέχνη, for at Metaphysics 9.6 Aristotle distinguishes processes that include their end from those that do not. The latter is typical of production. That is to say, production does not include its end in that producing and completed production are separate. When production reaches its end, production ceases. The carpenter, for example, stops building when the house is actual. Not so, φύσις. An oak tree, for example, does not stop growing once it is actually an oak tree. Τέχνη has a clear finishing point not found in φύσις. This is precisely Heidegger's point when he says that

τέχνη has a special kind of rest ... characterized as having-been-completed, having-been-produced, and, on the basis of these determinations, as standing-"forth" and lying present before us. (GA 9, 250/BCP, 230)

Artifacts move, that is, come to be what they are, differently from nature.

The difference between them is that in the case of φύσις, the ἀρχή and τέλος is φύσις itself. But when something is produced, it is the thing produced that is both ἀρχή and τέλος and not τέχνη, knowledge of production. A doctor produces health, not medicine, and a builder produces a house, not carpentry. Insofar as doctors do produce medicine and carpenters carpentry, they do so toward the further, and for Aristotle therefore higher end of health and houses, respectively. On the other hand, a tree tends towards other trees, and comes from a tree. Every tree has a tree as its cause. Both the origin and end of φύσις is φύσις. If the end of τέχνη is not τέχνη but rather the thing produced, likewise the origin of τέχνη is outside of the thing produced. The artist or artisan is the cause of the artifact. In fact, definitive of τέχνη for Aristotle is the artist's prior conception of the thing to be made. The end of τέχνη is the thing made in conformity with that εἶδος. Aristotle argues that "Art indeed consists in the conception of the result to be produced before its realization in the material."10 Natural things come to be analogously from a moving cause, but in their case the impulse to growth is internal, that is, it is contained within them.11

The externality of the efficient cause of an artifact has crucial implications for the relation between matter and form in an artifact versus that relation in a natural thing. Heidegger argues that μορφή, form

is not an ontic property present in matter, but a mode of Being ... [It is] the act of standing in and placing itself into the appearance, in general: placing into the appearance. (GA 9, 276/BCP, 250)

Form has, then, a priority with respect to actuality, for a thing's actuality is determined by its form. And the form determines actualities first and foremost in φύσις, for it is in φύσις at this placing into appearance brings itself about. Φύσις is being for the Greeks in the sense in which Aristotle defines φύσις as that which moves itself (192b15). The realization of form in nature requires no external agent.

In Heidegger's reading of Aristotle, then, the relation of matter to form is different in φύσις and τέχνη. Aristotle says that the artist chooses material "with a view to function, whereas in the products of nature the matter is there all along" (194b7-8). The "matter is there all along" in that the process of growth in which the form shapes the matter is continuous. Trees come from trees and tend toward trees. Φύσις is, as it were, always on the way to φύσις. Wood is therefore not incidental to a tree, which cannot but be of wood. A statue, on the other hand, is made by a sculptor, not by a statue. The matter is incidental to the statue, for not only could the statue be made from some other material, also bronze made into a statue could just as well have been made into something else. Μορφή and ὕλη, form and matter, belong together necessarily in nature, but incidentally in art.12

Furthermore, because in artifacts there is no necessary relation between matter and form, an artifact has no tendency to growth and decay within itself, except insofar as it is made from some material (192b14-21). Wood rots because it is wood, not because of, but rather in spite of the fact that it has been made into a bed. Art does not destroy the original relation between matter and form. Rather the tendency of nature toward its own end persists throughout production. Aristotle credits this observation to Antiphon:

Antiphon points out that if you planted a bed and the rotting wood acquired the power of sending up a shoot, it would not be a bed that would come up, but wood—which shows that the arrangement in accordance with the rules of art is merely an incidental attribute, whereas the real nature is the other, which, further, persists continuously through the process of making. (193a13-17)

The imposition of form onto matter by the artist does not overcome the tendency of that material to change governed by the form to which it is not incidental. Wood does not remain a bed forever, but rots. Accordingly, the artist borrows from φύσις material that is still subject to the governing form to which it stands in necessary relation.

This point is decisive for Heidegger, for it means that Aristotle's distinction between φύσις and τέχνη is not a simple contrast between equals. The insurmountable difference is that φύσις moves according to an inner nature, whereas artifacts are brought into being by an external cause who can only borrow the material. Wood is appropriate to a tree, but appropriated in the case of a bed. Antiphon's point about planting a bed shows that he is onto something, but Aristotle will not swallow his doctrine whole. For Aristotle, as for Antiphon, φύσις is prior to τέχνη in that the material ordered by τέχνη is still governed in its changes by φύσις from which it has its source, Heidegger argues therefore that τέχνη is dependent on φύσις, for, in the case of the art of medicine, for example, "τέχνη can only cooperate with φύσις, can more or less expedite the cure; but as τέχνη it can never replace φύσις and in its stead become itself the ἀρχή of health as such" (GA 9, 257/BCP, 235). Aristotle's sense of the priority of φύσις goes deeper than Antiphon's. Τέχνη is derivative upon φύσις for Aristotle, for from φύσις the artisan must always borrow matter on which to impose artistic form. Heidegger sees in Aristotle here the last echo of the pre-Socratic insight that being is φύσις, since φύσις is not simply the imposition of form onto matter, but rather their primary and appropriate belonging together. Matter is formed in φύσις with an appropriateness that is not merely an ordering of what is on hand the way an artist organizes material into the work.

Where the matter is incidental to the form, as in the case of an artifact, the form guides production but does not itself do the producing. The form merely shows up. It plays an accompanying role in serving to guide the artist, but it is the artist and not the form that does the producing (GA 9, 290/BCP, 260-261). Hence the artist requires something beforehand: an idea or model of what is to be made, a paradigm (παράδειγμα). Heidegger notes that if φύσις required a παράδειγμα, "an animal could not reproduce itself without mastering the science of its own zoology" (GA 9, 290/BCP, 261). Definitive of τέχνη is that the appearance (εἶδος) of the thing to be produced precedes its appearance (γένεσις) as a thing, in that the idea exists in the mind of the craftsperson prior to production. Production is the imposition of form onto matter, and as such, an appropriation of that matter from nature.

Τέχνη is produced by something that is not itself τέχνη. Φύσις, on the other hand, is that which comes into being of its own accord. This is for Heidegger the original Greek distinction between φύσις and τέχνη. It is a distinction so radical for Heidegger that he argues φύσις cannot be understood by analogy to τέχνη. Such an analogy, argues Heidegger,

fails from every conceivable point of view . That means: we must understand the Being of φύσις entirely from itself, and we should not detract from the astonishing fact of φύσις ... by overhasty analogies and explanations. (GA 9, 292/BCP, 262-263)

Φύσις must be understood on its own terms. Hence for Aristotle, it warrants a separate branch of study. Τὰ φυσικά are not simply self-making artifacts. Under Heidegger's account, rather, φύσις is a self-placing into appearance. It is the source of the beings in the question with which Heidegger ended What is Metaphysics? and began Introduction to Metaphysics : why are there beings at all, and why not rather nothing?

Aristotle is a cusp in Heidegger's account in that he echoes the pre-Socratic insight that being is φύσις. This means for Aristotle, Heidegger rightly sees, that φύσις is teleological. Τὰ φυσικά move toward their own end. Heidegger's insight goes much deeper than the obvious reading of Aristotle's teleology, that fire moves upward toward the periphery of the cosmos, while earth moves down toward the center. Heidegger has captured the richness of the Aristotelian cosmos. Yet Aristotle has also set up a metaphysics that determines things as formed matter, with a priority to form. This conception is more suited to artifacts, which are an instance of form imposed upon matter, than to nature. Hence Aristotle is both the culmination and end of pre-Socratic wisdom for Heidegger, and the beginning of a history of metaphysics that subsequently understands φύσις by analogy to τέχνη. Perhaps this thesis could be filled out by examining medieval conceptions of nature as divine artifact. Rather, however, the most insightful fulfillment of this claim on Heidegger's part is his critique of modern science. Therein he will argue that Aristotle's distinction is collapsed in modernity such that the essence of modern science is the essence of technology.


III. MODERN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND NATURE


In the modern epoch, Heidegger argues, being has withdrawn and the question of being is forgotten.13 In 1940, he claims that "today the truth about beings as a whole has become entirely questionable" (GA 9, 241/BCP, 223). Modern metaphysics reached this state, he argues, through a "history of interpretations of the Being of φύσις" (GA 9, 241/BCP, 224). Aristotle's Physics serves to understand that history at its incipience. This is not the first time Heidegger looks to physics to account for a crucial moment in the history of metaphysics. He suggests in 1935 in Die Frage nach dem Ding that to understand modern metaphysics, one must see why it was both possible and necessary for Kant to write a Critique of Pure Reason . That is seen by looking to the history of physics, specifically to Galileo and Newton in contrast against Aristotle. In "The Age of the World Picture" in 1938, Heidegger again looks to science to understand the modern epoch. Science is not incidental, nor merely symptomatic of modernity for Heidegger. Rather, it is essential. It is that on the basis of which the modern epoch is determined. It is against this background that Heidegger's claim in What Is Called Thinking? that the essence of science lies in the essence of technology must be read. Determinative of modernity for Heidegger is that the ancient priority of nature over artifact disappears in the modern failure to sustain an essential distinction between science and technology. How, then, does modern science collapse that distinction?

In "Der Zeitbegriff in der Geschichtswissenschaft" in 1916, Heidegger contrasts the time-concept at work in the discipline of history against that in physics. He uses Galileo's free fall experiment to distinguish the modern scientific method from Aristotle's. Whereas ancient science proceeded by making generalizations on the basis of a series of observations, Galileo's method is instead to formulate a hypothesis. He makes an assumption and then seeks its validation in experimentation (GA 1, 419). Thereafter, Heidegger argues, "physics strives towards equations, in which are laid down the most general, lawlike relations with regard to the processes in the relevant areas [of physics]" (GA 1, 420), and the "object of physics-we can now say, in brief-is the lawfulness of motion" (GA 1, 421). Galileo's method of a priori formulation of hypotheses has in Heidegger's view the effect of homogenization.

Heidegger argues that this lawfulness is only possible because of Galileo's determination that just as the uniformity of motion can only be grasped on the basis of the uniformity of times and spaces, so the uniformity of acceleration can be conceived simply, without complication, on the basis of equal time intervals. Thus time "has become a homogenous positional order-a scale, a parameter" (GA 1, 424). And also space "is now however endless, each space-point equal to any other, likewise each direction to any other" (GA 1, 422). The directionality of the cosmos, which for Aristotle had a clear up and down, is lost. In short, Galileo's methodology entails a mathematical projection of nature in which time and space are uniform and homogenous.

Heidegger goes back to this claim eleven years later in Being and Time . In §69, he argues that the consequence of the theoretical attitude is that a being's place "becomes a matter of indifference ... a spatiotemporal position, a 'world-point,' which is in no way distinguished from any other" (SZ, 361-362/BT, 413). So no thing has any special place that distinguishes it from any other thing. Here he is describing the transition from concernful dealings to the theoretical attitude. He says that the understanding of being changes over. What is significant about the theoretical attitude is the way it projects the being of nature (SZ, 362/BT, 414). Whereas in concernful dealings, where Dasein first has a world, things are constituted by the context of equipmentality and their involvement, in the theoretical attitude such involvement does not belong to beings. Rather, a thing is encountered as "an entity with 'mass' ... a corporeal Thing subject to the law of gravity" (SZ, 361/BT, 412). Places, times, and things are treated as alike in the mathematical projection of nature.

Heidegger returns again to the mathematical projection of nature in the winter semester of 1935-1936. Here, in Die Frage nach dem Ding, he takes it up in the context of Newton's law of inertia:

Every body continues in its state of rest, or uniform motion in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by force impressed upon it. (FD, 60/MSMM, 256)

The first thing Heidegger notes about this law is that before Newton stated it, nature was experienced in such a way that it would have been senseless. Yet afterwards, it is self-evident. With this law, then, a change in understanding is brought about such that the principle of inertia not only makes sense, but is fundamental in its simplicity and obviousness. This change is a shift in the understanding of beings, as Heidegger found definitive of the theoretical attitude in §69 of Being and Time . The difference between Aristotle and Newton lies for Heidegger in "what is actually apprehended as appearing and how it is interpreted" (FD, 63/MSMM, 259). Both apprehend nature, but differently.

For Aristotle, φύσις was that which moves of its own accord. A thing's essence, its form, μορφή), its principle of origin and growth, and subsequent powers determine its proper place, and its place governs its movement (FD, 69/MSMM, 266). The fiery moves upward and earth toward the center. In doing so, each is moving toward its end, and Heidegger will argue in 1940 reading Aristotle's Physics that not only the fiery and the earthy, but all natural things move themselves toward their end for Aristotle, an end determined by their essential nature. In the same text, Heidegger notes for the third time that in the modern conception of nature, "all places, as constellations of points, are determined by infinite space that is everywhere homogenous and nowhere distinctive" (GA 9, 249/BCP, 229). In modern physics, there is no distinction between places. Aristotle's teleology in conceptualizing nature is eradicated at least in part by the undifferentiated homogeneity of space in modern physics.

Furthermore, the object of Newtonian physics moves not on the basis of an internal essence, but on the basis of external force. Under the modern scientific conception of motion, things are apprehended not in terms of essence or τέλος, but as bodies interpreted by measurable, universal qualities such as mass. No distinction is made between things on the basis of motion toward an end. In fact, the motion in question in understanding nature is no longer γένεσις, coming into being, actualization. Rather, it is confined in Newton's physics to locomotion

For Heidegger, this means that the concept of nature has changed from Aristotle to the moderns:

nature is no longer the inner principle out of which the motion of the body follows; rather, nature is the mode of the variety of the changing relative positions of bodies, the manner in which they are present in space and time. (FD, 68/MSMM, 264)

Heidegger attributes the crucial move that thus brings the history of science into its modern epoch to Galileo. He finds in Galileo's Discoursi the antecedent to Newton's law of inertia. When Galileo claims that the difference in the time it takes two bodies to fall is due to the air's resistance, not to the inner nature of the bodies, he is understanding all bodies to be alike:

All determinations of bodies have one basic blueprint, according to which the natural process is nothing but the space-time determination of the motion of points of mass. (FD, 71/MSMM, 267)

All bodies alike are object: both nature and artifact objectify as bodies. The conclusion that can be drawn when this insight is put against the reading Heidegger gives of Aristotle in 1940 is that the distinguishing feature of τὰ φυσικά, that they propel themselves toward their τέλος, is no longer available to demarcate nature from artifact in modern physics.

Galileo is decisive for Heidegger in that his determination of bodies as objects for science was based on an a priori conception of body. He decided upon their nature in advance. Heidegger echoes in Die Frage nach dem Ding his claim made twenty years earlier in "Der Zeitbegriff in der Geschichtswissenschaft": Galileo's science proceeds on the basis of an a priori conception. In 1935, he calls that a priori conception "the mathematical."

Whereas Heidegger previously held that modern science is mathematical in that it uses laws and formulae, he suggests in 1935 that the mathematical essence of modern science lies in its project (Entwurf). The mathematical is, he argues, "that 'about' things that we already know. Therefore we do not first get it out of things, but, in a certain way, we bring it already with us" (FD, 57/MSMM, 252). Numbers are projected in this way, and are the most familiar form of the mathematical, Heidegger reasons, but in fact the mathematical is simply the a priori. A priori in physics is the fundamental conception of a thing brought to experience. Modern physics projects things as objects. In "The Question Concerning Technology" twenty years later, Heidegger will formulate the a priori project of objectivity in modern physics as "a coherence of forces calculable in advance [eine vorausberechenbaren Zussamenhang van Kräften ]" (VA, 25/QCT, 21).

Accordingly, modern physics is for Heidegger idealism. It is founded upon a priori formulation of hypotheses. Heidegger points out that Galileo's science argues "against the evidence of ordinary experience" (FD, 69/MSMM, 266), since there is in fact a difference, albeit slight, in the time it takes bodies of different weight to fall from a tower. Galileo attributes the difference to the air's resistance, not itself visible, rather than to the inner nature of the bodies or their preference for a particular place. Likewise Newton's law of inertia makes idealism decisive since it "speaks of a body, corpus quad a viribus impressis non cogitur, a body which is left to itself" (FD, 69/MSMM, 265), not impressed by any forces, but there is no such body. Heidegger grounds modern science in 1935 in a Cartesian metaphysics of subjectivity. It is mathematical for him in that it treats ideal objects and brings to experience from ideas an a priori determination.

In 1935, Heidegger overlooks one further conclusion, presumably because he does not have the crucial insight into Aristotle's physics until 1940. That modern science does not take bodies to move on the basis of essence, but rather on the basis of external compulsion means that from the perspective of modern science, nature is purposeless. How could nature be thought teleologically, if motion is not γένεσις but locomotion, and causes are not final but efficient? If Aristotle's cosmos is analogous to an accelerated film of a flower's bursting open, then Newton's is analogous to billiard balls tracked against graph paper. The conceptual elimination of ends from nature prepares for their technological appropriation, for nature rendered purposeless is available for human ends and purposes.

The ancient distinction between θεωρία and τέχνη could therefore never serve to distinguish science from technology. There remains no basis on which to distinguish their objects. Aristotle's construal of motion in the special sense of generation has no place in the modern scientific treatment of motion as change of place. The natural and the produced are subject to the same gravitational constant. The construal of φύσις and τέχνη as generative causes is further precluded by the conceptual restriction of causality to efficient causes rather than final causes. Locomotions have efficient causes. This is explicit in Newton's laws of motion which concern moving bodies subject to external forces.

The basis upon which Aristotle drew a distinction between τέχνη and θεωρία is precluded by the modern conception of nature. Hence the relation between science and technology in modernity cannot be simply a modern formulation of the Aristotelian distinction. In Heidegger's account, in fact, modern science is radically different from θεωρία. In "Science and Reflection, " he defines science as "the theory of the real [die Theorie des Wirklichen]" (VA, 42/SR, 157). But he argues that there is only a shadow of the earlier meaning of θεωρείν in the modern "theory." Aristotle's θεωρία was contemplative, but the very term "contemplation" has come through the Roman contemplari . The core of this word, templum, comes from the Greek τέμνειν, which means to cut or divide:

In θεωρία transformed into contemplatio there comes to the fore the impulse, already prepared in Greek thinking, of a looking-at that sunders and compartmentalizes. A type of encroaching advance by successive interrelated steps toward that which is to be grasped by the eye makes itself normative in knowing. (VA, 50-51/SR, 166)

Specialized science contains a shadow of θεωρία in its urge to inspect its objects, but the contemplative wonder typical of Aristotle's theoretical knowledge is now an active inspection and manipulation of those objects. Heidegger argued that modern science manipulates its objects in a postscript to What Is Metaphysics? (GA 9, 309/WMp 357) and the Beiträge at §72-80. In "The Age of the World Picture," he says that assault rules in the scientific representation of objects (GA 5, 108/AWP, Appendix 9, 149-150).

Likewise, in "Science and Reflection," Heidegger argues that scientific observation is not reflective in the sense that Aristotle's θεωρία was. Heidegger understands observation as "an entrapping and securing refining of the real" (VA, 51-52/SR, 167). The tendency toward division in Romanized contemplation is an assault upon its object, a manipulation that determines that object by confining it to a particular realm of beings determined as the object-area of a specialized science. Such a limited view of nature is necessary in that physics, for example, requires a determined realm of objects in order then to proceed with investigation of that realm. Specialization is not incidental to modern science, but rather the condition of its possibility. Heidegger has held this insight since his talk of basic concepts in Being and Time (SZ, 9/BT, 29) and positive sciences in Basic Problems of Phenomenology (GA 24, 17-18/BPP, 13). By "Science and Reflection," however, he holds that this methodological condition for modern science is not a condition for the possibility of any knowledge whatsoever. Reflection is also a possibility for knowing, and ancient θεωρία, although Aristotle opens the possibility of modern science by himself distinguishing physics from metaphysics and determining nature as form, offers another possibility for knowing than the representational thinking of modern science.

Nor is technology the modern equivalent of ancient τέχνη in Heidegger's view. In "The Question Concerning Technology," Heidegger argues that technology is "a way of revealing [eine Weise des Entbergens]" (VA, 16/QCT, 12) that is a "challenging ... [that] sets upon nature" (VA, 18/QCT, 14-15) to unlock and expose its energy for stockpiling. Technology is a way of revealing, but not in the sense in which ancient ποίησις was the creative act that brought τέχνη into being, for modern technology does not bring forth in Heidegger's view; it challenges forth. This is of course Heidegger's critique of science as a manipulation and assault. Indeed, throughout What Is Called Thinking? in 1951-1952, Heidegger will argue not just that modern science and technology are similar, but that the essence of science lies in the essence of technology. He names that essence of technology Ge-stell: a way of revealing things that sets them up as a standing reserve of resources available for human disposal. He argues that "the herald of Ge-stell, a herald whose origin is still unknown" (VA, 25/QCT, 22) is modern physics.

Heidegger suggests that the ordering attitude and behavior at work in technology was first visible in modern science as exact, experimental science:

Because physics, indeed already as pure theory, sets nature up to exhibit itself as a coherence of forces calculable in advance, it therefore orders its experiments precisely for the purpose of asking whether and how nature reports itself when set up this way. (VA, 25/QCT, 21)

Modern physics orders nature by setting it up to appear as a coherence of forces calculable in advance. The scientific determination of nature makes possible its further ordering as resource, as a standing reserve of energy, in Heidegger's account. Without the scientific object, then, technology would not be possible, for modern science precludes nature appearing as having its own ends. It renders nature conceptually free of teleology and therefore makes nature available to assume the ends human being assigns. Accordingly, technology presents the illusion that it is simply applied science. In fact, it is much more. It is a way of revealing that, to use the terminology of Being and Time, reinscribes the present-at-hand as ready-to-hand; it takes over as resource what science represents as object. Science strips nature of its involvements, and technology appropriates nature to human involvement.14

Not only technology, but also then science, has its Ge-stell in Heidegger's account. The essence of science lies at the essence of technology for him in that modern science and technology both have Ge-stell, projective understanding, at their essence. But with identity also comes difference: technology challenges nature as standing reserve, science as object. Physics, for example, in its experimental set up, orders nature as a coherence of forces calculable in advance. To say that the essence of science is the essence of technology is to say that each has its Ge-stell, its a priori conception according to which it then seeks to order nature. A trace of ancient τέχνη remains then in both modern science and in technology, for definitive of τέχνη for Aristotle was that the artist conceived of the thing to be produced prior to production and then set about bringing the thing into being. More so than θεωρία, something of τέχνη remains in the modern experiment in that the scientist proceeds on the basis of an idea that is to be produced in the experiment. The metaphysics of subjectivity that underwrites modern science can be traced back to Aristotle's conception of production.

Heidegger's claim about such foundational notions for knowledge as nature, motion, cause, and theory has consistently been that they have their origin in Greek thinking. Further, that the Greek legacy has come down to the modern era severely narrowed. In that history, φύσις is reduced to nature understood as useful object, κίνησις dwindles to change of place, αἰτία is confined to efficiency, and θεωρία becomes speciali-zation. In several places he calls that narrowing the Romaniza-tion of thinking. I have sought to show that Galileo and Newton, who wrote in Latin, are its source. They bring to fruition an Aristotelian metaphysics in which form actualizes matter when imposed upon it. Aristotle himself does not reduce φύσις to τέχνη. The richness of final causes and motion as actualization, and therefore the fullness of φύσις, are integral to Aristotle's distinction. Yet Aristotle makes possible the disappearance of that distinction. It cannot be sustained in modernity, for the essence of modern science is from its very incipience in Galileo the essence of technology: the projective understanding of a metaphysics of subjectivity, in which the knower can remain oblivious to the reduction of the thing known to its prior determination by reason.


IV. CONCLUSION


To return, then, to the original question:

Is modern natural science the foundation of modern technology—as is supposed—or is it, for its part, already the basic form of technological thinking, the determining fore-conception and incessant incursion of technological representation into the realized and organized machinations of modern technology?

Heidegger's work on science, particularly on the physics of Aristotle, Galileo, and Newton, shows that in his analysis modern natural science is already the basic form of technological thinking. Science is not simply the foundation of technology. Rather, it is the essence of technology fed back into itself. Only because science shares its essence with technology can technological representation, i.e., Ge-stell, be at home in modernity. A trace of ancient τέχνη remains in the modern epoch in technology, but only because it is first found at the essence of science. Heidegger's insight is that the history of Western science makes possible global domination by technology. Science disposes of nature's ends; technology imposes human purpose.


NOTES


1 References to Heidegger are cited using abbreviations (given in the Reference section following) with the German first, followed by the English translation, and to Aristotle using Bekker number.

2 McNeill, 1999, 21-22.

3 See especially Babich (1995, Part 5) and McNeill (1999) who uncover Aristotle's influence on Heidegger's ongoing entanglement with θεωρία.

4 This is Sheehan's (1975) translation of Heidegger's translation of Aristotle. Hardie and Gaye in Mckeon (1941) render these lines: "For the word 'nature' is applied to what is according to nature and the natural in the same way as 'art' is applied to what is artistic or a work of art."

5 According to Sheehan (1975, 87), it is common knowledge that the analogy of being served as the driving force behind Being and Time. Seigfried (1970, 4) confirms this when he translates Heidegger's inaugural address to the Heidelberg Academy of Science, in which Heidegger says that the "quest for the unity in the multiplicity of Being ... remained, through many upsets, wanderings, and perplexities, the ceaseless impetus for the treatise Being and Time." Cf. "The Understanding of Time in Phenomenology and in the Thinking of the Being-Question, " 201.

6 Aristotle has two words for actuality: ἐντελέχεια and ἐνέργεια. The difference is not significant here, but for a beautifully concise yet clear account of the two words, see Blair (1978).

7 Hence the connection between gathering together (λέγειν) and saying (λόγος) that Heidegger makes so much of in "Logos" from Vortrage und Aufsätze, translated in Early Greek Thinking .

8 De Anima 415a28-b2.

9 De Partibus Animalium 639b15.

10 De Partibus Animalium 640a32; cf. Nicomachean Ethics 1140a13.

11 Physics 2.1.192b14-16; De Partibus Animalium 641b12-16.

12 Cf. 192b22-3.

13 Heidegger says this at many places, but see especially SZ, 2-4 / BT, 21-24 where Heidegger argues that the question is taken as superfluous since the concept of being is indefinable, self-evident and the most universal of concepts. Cf. "Nihilism as Determined by the History of Being" in Nietzsche 4 .

14 Zimmerman (1977, especially 81-82) and Jung and Jung apply Heidegger's thinking to ecological questions.



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