For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Heidegger's Relevance for Engineering: questioning technology"

by Dias, W P (2003)


Heidegger affirmed traditional technology, but was opposed to science-based modern technology, in which everything (including man) is considered to be a mere "resource". This opposition was expressed in the form of deep questioning and a suspicion of superficial evaluation, because the true nature of things was often concealed, though disclosed at times. Ways in which engineers should question technology are proposed, highlighting some of the hazards and injustices associated with technology and also its subtle sociological and psychological influences. The demands of engineering ethics and the use of metaphor in design are other ways in which a narrowly rationalistic technological outlook can be confronted.

Key Passage

Given the pervasive and significant impact of technology on our lives and society, it would do well for engineers too to engage in such questioning as an integral part of their practice, since they are agents of technology. This would also result in more balanced critiques of technology. Currently critics of technology tend to be largely philosophers or environmentalist, both of whom are sometimes unrealistic in their rejection of technology. (p.392)


Heidegger, Technology, Engineering, Education, University, Science, Modernity, Resources, Sociology


Technology, On Heidegger

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