The question concerning technology
by Heidegger, Martin (1977)
The Question Concerning Technology (German: Die Frage nach der Technik) is a work by Martin Heidegger, in which the author discusses the essence of technology. Heidegger originally published the text in 1954, in Vorträge und Aufsätze. Heidegger initially developed the themes in the text in the lecture "The Framework" ("Das Gestell"), first presented on December 1, 1949, in Bremen. "The Framework" was presented as the second of four lectures, collectively called "Insight into what is." The other lectures were titled "The Thing" ("Das Ding"), "The Danger" ("Die Gefahr"), and "The Turning" ("Die Kehre")
But in what, then, does the playing in unison of the four ways of occasioning play? They let what is not yet present arrive into presencing. Accordingly, they are unifiedly ruled over by a bringing that brings what presences into appearance. Plato tells us what this bringing is in a sentence from the Symposium (20sb): he gar toi ek tau me onton eis to on ionti hotoioun aitia pasa esti poiesis. -"Every occasion for whatever passes over and goes forward into presencing from that which is not presencing is poiesis, is bringing-forth [Her-vor-bringen] ."9 -It is of utmost importance that we think bringing-forth in its full scope and at the same time in the sense in which the Greeks thought it. Not only handcraft manufacture, not only artistic and poetical bringing into appearance and concrete imagery, is a bringing-forth, poiesis. Physis also, the arising of something from out of itself, is a bringing-forth, poiesis. Physis is indeed poiesis in the highest sense. For what presences by means of physis has the bursting open belonging to bringing-forth, e.g., the bursting of a blossom into bloom, in itself (en heautoi). In contrast, what is brought forth by the artisan or the artist, e.g., the silver chalice, has the bursting open belonging to bringingforth not in itself, but in another (en alloi), in the craftsman or artist. The modes of occasioning, the four causes, are at play, then, within bringing-forth. Through bringing-forth, the growing things of nature as well as whatever is completed through the crafts and the arts come at any given time to their appearance. But how does bringing-forth happen, be it in nature or in handwork and art? What is the bringing-forth in which the fourfold way of occasioning plays? Occasioning has to do with the presencing [Anwesen] of that which at any given time comes to appearance in bringing-forth. Bringing-forth brings hither out of concealment forth into unconcealment. Bringing-forth comes to pass only insofar as something concealed comes into un concealment. This coming rests and moves freely within what we call revealing [das Entbergen].-[The footnote here, (9), is relevant, and states: -The full gamut of meaning for the verb hervorbringen, here functioning as a noun, includes to bring forth or produce, to generate or beget, to utter, to elicit. Heidegger intends that all of these nuances be heard. He hyphenates the word in order to emphasize its adverbial prefixes, her(here or hither) and vor-(forward or forth). Heidegger elsewhere makes specific the meaning resident in Her-vor-bringen for him by utilizing those prefixes independently. Thus he says (translating literally), "Bringing-forthhither brings hither out of concealment, forth into unconcealment" (d. below, p. 11) ; and-after identifying working (wirken) and her-vor-bringenhe says that working must be understood as "bringing hither-into unconcealment, forth-into presencing" (SR 161). Because of the awkwardness of the English phrase "to bring forth hither," it has not been possible to include in the translation of her-vor-bringen the nuance of meaning that her-provides.] (p.10)
ThemesThe Question Concerning Technology , Heidegger Citations
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