For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Technology and modernity: Spengler, Jünger, Heidegger, Cassirer"

by Roberts, David (2012)


In the crisis scenarios of modernity which flourished in the Weimar Republic, technology is typically seen as destiny or fate. Thus Oswald Spengler and Ernst Jünger both construe the coming struggle for world power in terms of the integration of production and technology in the industrial-military complex. Martin Heideggers critique of Jüngers blueprint for total mobilization in Der Arbeiter (1932) springs from his reading of modernity as nihilism. Just as the crisis of Western history is reaching completion in modernity, so equally metaphysics reaches completion in modern technology. Heideggers essay ?The Question Concerning Technology written after the Second World War, is contrasted with Ernst Cassirers essay Form and Technology (1930), directed against Spenglers regression to irrationalism, in terms of two fundamental relationships to the world: Heideggers Greek-oriented ontology of world disclosure and Cassirers modern ontology of construction (the possibilization of the world) with reference to technology and art.


Junger, Heidegger, Spengler, Cassirer, Technology, Modernity, Nihilism


On Jünger, Technology, On Heidegger

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