For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Jünger’s Concept of the Gestalt of the Worker as the Consummation of Modernity"

by Blok, Vincent (2015)


From 1934–1935 on, Heidegger does not see this positive relation with Junger's concept of work anymore. Heidegger also calls the epoch of the worker "the epoch of the consummation of modernity". Heidegger concentrates on this identification of the subject of The Worker and the way this subject is being discussed in Junger's book. In a note, Heidegger writes: "Junger's descriptions achieve only this: indicating being by showing beings, without questioning this being". But because Junger is absorbed by his responsiveness to the work-character of beings in the whole as worker, he only indicates this essence of the work-world while the question of being itself remains forgotten and concealed. Heidegger calls this new beginning of philosophical reflection a decision. Heidegger speaks about the "great indecisiveness and undecidability of this whole fundamental metaphysical position".

Key Passage

Heidegger concentrates on this identification of the subject of  The Worker(worker) and the way this subject is being discussed in Jünger’s book (work). “Is the essence of the worker determined out of the  essence of work ? . . . Or is the essence of work put forward out of the essence of the worker? . . . how does Jünger decide? Does he see this question at all, does he notice its weight?” 5   On  the  one  hand,  the  subject  (worker)  is  the  basis  for  the  work  character  of  the  world  as  its  object.  On  the  other  hand,  the  essence  of  the  worker  is  determined  by  work  as  its  object.  According  to  Heidegger,  Jünger’s descriptions of our work-world move around in a flat circle ( flachen Zirkel ).  6   These  move  unnoticed  over  from    what  is  described  (“Being”  as  work) to  how it is described (thinking as work) and so mutually define one another. “The actual motion is not in reality as work (‘Being’) nor in the way we grasp the world (thinking), but in the capacity to move back and forth between ‘Being’ as work and thinking as work.”  7  Jünger’s descriptions are caught up in the continuing circle of the work-character of thought (will to power) to the work-character of reality (will to power) and vice versa.  (p.77)


Heidegger, Ontology, Pragmatism, Relationality, Being, Junger, Zimmermann


On Jünger, On Heidegger

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