For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Heidegger and the technology of further education"

by Standish, Paul (1997)


The new further education, characterised by managerialism, accounting systems and the packaging of learning, has brought about far-reaching changes for staff and students, changes that can broadly be understood in terms of technology. This paper seeks to gain a new perspective on this through a consideration of Heidegger?s exploration of techne and of the pathologies of technology. The various responses that Heidegger advocates in the face of technology are then related to possibilities of good practice in technical and further education. The discussion involves questions concerning work and language, especially as these arise in conditions of postmodernity.

Key Passage

[...] let us consider the kind of response to technology that is offered especially by Heidegger's later work. One response involves a turning away from the vision that Heidegger derives from Nietzsche and Junger, with its nadir of faith in a political leader, and towards the shamanic figures of the poet and the thinker: Holderlin is now the supreme inspiration. Reverence for the word displaces the earlier emphasis on the workshop world. The German language assumes a unique historical importance, the rightful heir to the language of the Greeks and the rich origin of an alternative understanding of being. Heidegger came to lament the failure of the German people to understand the possibilities of this poetry `because they are concerned to adapt to the measures of the nihilism that surrounds them and thus to misunderstand the essence of a historical self-affirmation' (p.449)


Heidegger, Technology, Education, Techne, Pathology, Postmodernity


Technology, On Heidegger

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