Technology creates a fundamental anticipation which directs the activity of production itself, so that the actual thing produced, is merely a byproduct that is consistent with, but that which fails to fully discharge, a potential that is brought-forth in this act of creation. This truth of technology, exceeds truth as correspondence, and is expressed best in poetry.

This primordial Greek understanding of what is essential to technology, is perverted, initially by Plato whom distinguished the word play of poetry from that of science. We doubled down on this error through the use of modern technology, that penetrates nature, for ends which are not those of what is penetrated.

It is as if we think that this excess of potential, that grounds a specific bringing-forth, can itself be contained and regulated.


…does this not hold true for the old windmill as well? No. Its sails do indeed turn in the wind; they are left entirely to the wind’s blowing. But the windmill does not unlock energy from the air currents in order to store it. – Question Concerning Technology

By this logic, green technologies such as wind turbines would fall foul to the stealing of natures potential, to be stored until such a time that it is applied to improper ends defined by us.

Yet an airliner that stands on the runway is surely an object. Certainly. We can represent the machine so. But then it conceals itself as to what and how it is. Revealed, it stands on the taxi strip only as a standing reserve, inasmuch as it is ordered to ensure the possibility of transportation. – Question Concerning Technology

The airliner appears to us as an object, whose objecthood is determined as a standing reserve, it can only be revealed to us as it exists for us, which in the configuration of standing reserve means to the extent that it serves our ends at a time and place of our choosing.

Or does it? These ends of man, are they really man’s ends?  Or are they an end which is itself foreign to man? Whilst we like to think that modern technology is in some sense extends our control over that which is around us, does it not turn man into a means which serves different ends? Which ‘man’ is Heidegger talking about?

The unconcealment of the unconcealed has already come to pass whenever it calls man forth into the modes of revelation allotted to him… modern technology as an ordering revealing is, then, no merely human doing… Does this revealing happen somewhere beyond all human doing? No. But; neither does it happen exclusively in man, or decisively through man. – Question Concerning Technology

Heidegger outlines hope and danger, a hope in the face of an ultimate danger. This ultimate danger is to become a means to a particular being, enframing facilitates this, the hope is to become something other than man in the name of Being itself. One should never forget that in this article Enframing is too abstract, Heidegger does not give us a concrete example to illustrate enframing. Sure he gives us passing examples… windmills and dams, planes and tourism, but the elephant (or should that be a rhinoceros?) in the room is of course Nazism.

Does Heidegger not betray his sense of hope by portraying the becoming-other of Being as a return to a Greek trajectory?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s