For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Between Technē and Technology: The Ambiguous Place of Equipment in Being and Time"

by Dreyfus, Hubert L (1984)

Abstract

Heidegger's occasional retrospective remarks on Being and Time are mostly limited to pointing out the way Being and Time is already on the way to overcoming metaphysics by reawakening concern with Being!, or to acknowledging Being and Time's transcendental neglect of the history of Being.' But one looks in vain through Heidegger's occasional references to his most celebrated work for an indication of how we are to fit Being and Time into the history of Being which later Heidegger elaborated. To what extent is Being and Time itself metaphysical? To what extent is it nihilistic? As a step toward answering these difficult questions, one might well begin by asking a more manageable question: To what extent is the account of the being of equipment in Being and Time a critique ofthe ontology of technology and to what extent is it a contribution to the development of a technological understanding of Being?

Key Passage

The idea that in the technological world equipment more and more comes to fit together in one single totality is already a step from the relatively autonomous and autochthonous workshop of the craftsman towards the uprooted interconnectedness of industrial mass production. Its final achievement would be a world system under the feedback control of cybernetics. Heidegger makes a similar point in The Question Concering Technology, when he criticizes Hegel's definition of the machine as an autonomous tool and contrasts the autonomous tools of the craftsman with the total ordering characteristic of the technological machine (p.32)

Keywords

Heidegger, Dreyfus, Skill, Craft, Equipment, Workshop, Metaphysics, Nietzsche, Technology

Themes

On Heidegger, Dreyfus

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