For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Heidegger and Marcuse: the catastrophe and redemption of technology"

by Feenberg, Andrew (2014)


No doubt human nature remains the same as always, but the means at our disposal are now much more powerful than in the past. Quantity has changed into quality as innovations alter the basic parameters of human action. New dilemmas emerge in a society reconstructed around these new technical means. Two philosophers have reflected most deeply on this situation. Martin Heidegger invites us to study technology as the core phenomenon of modern life. Where most philosophers either celebrate technical progress or worry about its unintended consequences, he identifies the culture of modernity with the spirit of technology. The limits and aporia of technology give rise to general catastrophe. Heideggers student, Herbert Marcuse, reformulated the philosophy of technology in the framework of a radical social theory and projected solutions to the problems Heidegger identified. For Marcuse, technology is still in evolution; it is not a fixed destiny as it is for Heidegger.


Heidegger. Marcuse, Technology, Social Theory, Social Critique, Modernity


Technology, On Heidegger

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