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

As we have seen, in  the  first phase of hisconfrontationwithjunger,Heideggerappropriatedjunger'slanguage  in order to support a revolutionary movement which heralded an alternative to the technological future  forecast  by Junger. After the  Rohm  purge  onJune30,1934,Heideggerbeganthe  long process of distancing himself from  the"politicalreality"ofNationalSocialism,butcon-tinuedtomeditateon its"innertruthandgreatness."Thismeditation,whichinvolvedatumtowardart,  was carried out in his lectures on Nietzsche and on Holderlin. Nietzsche's views on  the world-shaping powers of art  offered a way of understanding the metaphysical basis  for junger's doctrine of the Gestalt of the worker, while Holderlin's poetry seemed to  offer  a  saving alternative to junger's technological future.  In  this chapter, we begin to study Heidegger's artistic "tum" in connection with his confrontation with junger's "aesthetic" view  o f modem technology. Here, aiming to dislose how junger's writings influenced Heidegger's mature concept of technology, we  shall  movethroughthe1930sand1940sintoHeidegger's post war writings on technology. In chapters seven and eight,  we shall  movebackto1934-35 to consider in more detail how Heidegger's reflections on Nietzsche and Holderlin led to new insights about the relationship between art and techne.I divide  the analysis in this  way  to facilitate exposition of material which is in  fact highly interrelated and tangled. The reader should keep in mind that in  his search for  a  new, non-technological world, Heidegger was constantly playing off junger's views on  art and technology against those  of Nietzsche and Holderlin. (p.77)


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


Technology, On Heidegger

Links to Reference



How to contribute.