The Gods and Technology

A Reading of Heidegger

By Richard Rojcewicz

Subjects: Continental Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Theology and Continental Thought
Paperback : 9780791466421, 256 pages, June 2006
Hardcover : 9780791466414, 256 pages, January 2006

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Table of contents

Part I. Ancient Technology
The four causes as obligations, as making ready the ground
The so-called efficient cause in Aristotle
Abetting causality as a reading of Heidegger
Letting, active letting, letting all the way to the end
Producing, bringing-forth, nature
Manufacture and contemplation
Bringing-forth as disconcealment
Disclosive looking
Technology and truth
The Greek concept of techne
Ancient technological practice as poiesis
Part II. Modern Technology

Ancient versus modern technology
Modern technology as a challenging: the gear and the capacitor
Modern technology as an imposition
Modern technology as a ravishment
Modern technology as a disposing
Ge-stell, the “all-encompassing imposition”
The essence of modern technology as nothing technological
Science as harbinger
Science as mediator
Causality; modern physics
The novelty of modern technology
Part III. The Danger in Modern Technology
Asking about and asking for
Sent destiny, history, chronology
The danger
The highest danger
The occultation of poiesis
That which might save
The sense of essence
The essence as something bestowed
Bestowal as what might save
The mystery
The constellation
Transition to the question of art
Part IV. Art
(Metaphysical) aesthetics versus (ontological) philosophy of art
Art as most properly poetry
Art and the history of Being
Art and technology
Part V. Detachment

Contemplation; Detachment (Gelassenheit)
Openness to the mystery, autochthony, lasting human works
Conclusion: phenomenology; improvisation on the piety in art
Cited Works of Heidegger
Bibliography of Major Secondary Studies

An analysis of Heidegger’s philosophy of technology.


The Gods and Technology is a careful and original reading of the principal statement of Martin Heidegger's philosophy of technology, the essay Die Frage nach der Technik ("The question concerning technology"). That essay is a rich one, and Richard Rojcewicz's goal is to mine it for the treasures only a close reading of the original German text can bring out. Rojcewicz shows how the issue of technology is situated at the very heart of Heidegger's philosophical enterprise; especially for the late Heidegger, the philosophy of technology is a philosophy of Being, or of the gods.

For Heidegger, technology is not applied knowledge, but the most basic knowledge, of which science, for example, is an application. The ultimate goal of this study, and, as Rojcewicz writes, of Heidegger's thought, is practical: to find the appropriate response to the challenges of the modern age, to learn to live in a technological world without falling victim to the thrall of technological things.

Richard Rojcewicz teaches philosophy at Point Park University. He is the cotranslator (with André Schuwer) of three volumes of Heidegger's Gesamtausgabe: Parmenides (GA 54), Basic Questions of Philosophy (GA 45), and Plato's Sophist (GA 19) and the translator of Phenomenological Interpretations of Aristotle (GA 61). He is also the translator of two volumes of Husserliana, Husserl's collected works: Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy: Second Book (Hua 4; cotranslated with André Schuwer) and Thing and Space: Lectures of 1907 (Hua 16).