For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Contributions to Philosophy: From Enowning

by Heidegger, Martin (1999)


Martin Heidegger's Contributions to Philosophy reflects his famous philosophical "turning." In this work, Heidegger returns to the question of being from its inception in Being and Time to a new questioning of being as event. Heidegger opens up the essential dimensions of his thinking on the historicality of being that underlies all of his later writings. Contributions was composed as a series of private ponderings that were not originally intended for publication. They are nonlinear and radically at odds with the traditional understanding of thinking. This translation presents Heidegger in plain and straightforward terms, allowing surer access to this new turn in Heidegger's conception of being.

Key Passage

the name machination [Machenschaft] should immediately refer to making [Machen] (ποίησις, τέχνη), which we assuredly know as a human activity. This latter, however, is itself possible precisely only on the grounds of an interpretation of beings in which their makeability comes to the fore, so much so that constancy and presence become the specific determinations of beingness. The fact that something makes itself by itself and consequently is makeable in a corresponding operation: the making itself by itself is the interpretation of φύσις carried out in terms of τέχνη and its outlook on things, in such a way that now already the emphasis falls on the makeable and the self-making, which is called, in brief, machination... The medieval concept of actus already covers over the primordial Greek essence of the interpretation of beingness. Connected to this is the fact that the machinational now thrusts itself forward more clearly and that, through the coming into play of both the Judeo-Christian thought of creation and the corresponding representation of God, ens becomes ens creatum… the cause–effect connection comes to dominate everything (God as causa sui). That is an essential deviation from φύσις and is at the same time the transition to the emergence of machination as the essence of beingness in modern thought. The mechanistic and the biologistic modes of thinking are always only consequences of the concealed machinational interpretation of beings.  (p.100)


Heidegger, Philosophy, Technology, Machination, Making, Creation


Contributions to Philosophy , Heidegger Citations

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