For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Nietzsche: Volumes One and Two

by Heidegger, Martin (1991)

Abstract

A landmark discussion between two great thinkers, vital to an understanding of twentieth-century philosophy and intellectual history.

Key Passage

But there is something else we have to emphasize in the fact that craftsmen manufacture implements. For the Greeks themselves it was clearly granted, but for us it has become rather hazy, precisely because of its obviousness. And that is the fact that what is manufactured or produced, which formerly was not in being, now "is." It "is." We understand this "is." We do not think very much about it. For the Greeks the "Being" of manufactured things was defined, but differently than it is for us. Something produced "is" because the Idea lets it be seen as such, lets it come to presence in its outward appearance, lets it "be." Only to that extent can what is itself produced be said "to be." Making and manufacturing therefore mean to bring the outward ap-pearance to show itself in something else, namely, in what is manufac-tured, to "pro-duce" the outward appearance, not in the sense of manufacturing it but of letting it  radiantly appear. What is manufactured "is" only to the extent that in it the outward appearance, Being, radiates. To say that something manufactured "is" means that in it the presence of its outward appearance shows itself. A worker is one who fetches the outward appearance of something into the presence of sensuous visibility. That seems to delineate sufficiently what, and how, it is that the craftsman properly makes, and what he cannot make. Every one of these pro-ducers of serviceable and useful implements and items keeps to the realm of the one "Idea" that guides him: the tablemaker looks to the Idea of table, the shoemaker to that of shoe. Each is proficient to the extent that he limits himself purely to his own field. Else he botches the job. (p.175)

Keywords

Heidegger, Nietzsche, Machination, Technology

Themes

The Nietzsche Lectures, Heidegger Citations

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