For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Heidegger's Confrontation with Modernity: Technology, Politics, and Art

by Zimmerman, Michael E (1990)


The relation between Martin Heidegger's understanding of technology and his affiliation with and conception of National Socialism is the leading idea of this fascinating and revealing book. Zimmerman shows that the key to the relation between Heidegger's philosophy and his politics was his concern with the nature of working and production.

Key Passage

In 1936, Heidegger wondered whether Hegel was right in saying that art is something past, without power for the modern spirit: "is art still an essential and necessary way in which that truth happens which is so decisive for our historical existence, or is art no longer of this character?" [HW: 67/81] Heideggerbelieved that technology and art were related in that both were truth events:both were ways of letting entities be. Ordinarily, the Greek word techne is translated as a skilled making of the  sort which anticipated the amazing production process of industrial technology. Heidegger argued, however,that techne had a twofold meaning. On the one hand, techne could be interpretedas involving melete, the authentic carefulness required to preserve somethingand to let it be. On the other hand, techne could be interpreted asinvolving poiesis, a producing or bringing-forth of something. Both aspects oftechne involved intimate knowing of what things are. [GA, 43: 202] Skilledmaking was possible only because the artisan was gifted with the techne todisclose and to care for the thing to be made. (p.110)


Heidegger, Technology, National Socialism, Junger, Production, Germany, Nazi


Technology, On Heidegger

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