"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.
Heidegger’s early writings stressed the primacy of practice over theory, and hence can be interpreted as supportive of the engineering approach. In his later writings he affirmed traditional technology, but was opposed to science based modern technology, in which everything (including man) is considered to be a mere “resource”. This spirit of questioning is something that engineers (who are purveyors of technology) would do well to emulate. Just as Heidegger considered poetry to be an antidote to the spirit of modern technology, the use of metaphor in design could also liberate engineering from its sometimes narrow rationalism. (p.396)
KeywordsHeidegger, Technology, Engineering, Education, University, Science, Modernity, Resources, Sociology
ThemesTechnology, On Heidegger
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