Poetry, Language, Thought
by Heidegger, Martin (1971)
Poetry, Language, Thought collects Martin Heidegger's pivotal writings on art, its role in human life and culture, and its relationship to thinking and truth. Essential reading for students and anyone interested in the great philosophers, this book opens up appreciation of Heidegger beyond the study of philosophy to the reaches of poetry and our fundamental relationship to the world. Featuring "The Origin of the Work of Art," a milestone in Heidegger's canon, this enduring volume provides potent, accessible entry to one of the most brilliant thinkers of modern times.
[Extract from: What are Poets for?]-The whole objective inventory in terms of which the world appears is given over to, commended to, and thus subjected to the command of self-assertive production. Willing has in it the character of command; for purposeful self-assertion is a mode in which the attitude of the producing, and the objective character of the world, concentrate into an unconditional and therefore complete unity. In this self-concentration, the command character of the will announces itself. And through it in the course of modern metaphysics, the long-concealed nature of the long-since existing will as the Being of beings comes to make its appearance. Correspondingly, human willing too can be in the mode of self-assertion only by forcing everything under its dominion from the start, even before it can survey it. To such a willing, everything, beforehand and thus subsequently, turns irresistibly into material for self-assertive production. The earth and its atmosphere become raw material. Man becomes human material, which is disposed of with a view to proposed goals. The unconditioned establishment of the unconditional self-assertion by which the world is purpose-fully made over according to the frame of mind of man's command is a process that emerges from the hidden nature of technology. Only in modern times does this nature begin to unfold as a destiny of the truth of all beings as a whole; until now, its scattered appearances and attempts had remained incorporated within the embracing structure of the realm of culture and civilization. Modern science and the total state, as necessary consequences of the nature of technology, are also its attendants. The same holds true of the means and forms that are set up for the organization of public opinion and of men's everyday ideas. Not only are living things technically objectivated in stock-breeding and exploitation; the attack of atomic physics on the phenomena of living matter as such is in frill swing. At bottom, the essence of life is supposed to yield itself to technical production. The fact that we today, in all seriousness, discern in the results and the viewpoint of atomic physics possibilities of demonstrating human freedom and of establishing a new value theory, is a sign of the predominance of technological ideas whose development has long since been removed beyond the realm of the individual's personal views and opinions. The inherent natural power of technology shows itself further in the attempts that are being made, in adjacent areas so to speak, to master technology with the help of traditional values; but in these efforts technological means are already being employed that are not mere external forms. For generally the utilization of machinery and the manufacture of machines is not yet technology itself—it is only an instrument concordant with technology, whereby the nature of technology is established in the objective character of its raw materials. Even this, that man becomes the subject and the world the object, is a consequence of technology's nature establishing itself, and not the other way around. (p.109)
KeywordsPoetry, Heidegger, Art, Aesthetics, Culture, Artwork, Artist, Poetry, Twentieth Century
ThemesWhat Are Poets For? , Poetry, Language, Thought, Heidegger Citations
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