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Gods and Technology, The

A Reading of Heidegger

Richard Rojcewicz

Publication Year: 2006

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.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY series in Theology and Continental Thought

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

This is a lengthy study attempting to reopen and take a fresh look at a brief text in which Martin Heidegger projected a philosophy of technology. What is offered here is a careful and sympathetic reading of that text in its own terms. I do situate Heidegger’s philosophy of technology within his overall philosophical enterprise, and I follow to their end certain ...

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pp. 1-14

The original turn in the history of philosophy, from pre-Socratic thought to the philosophy of Socrates and of all later Western thinkers, can be understood as a turn from piety to idolatry. In a certain sense, then, Cicero was correct to characterize this turn as one that “called philosophy down from the heavens and relegated it to the cities of men ...

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Part I. Ancient Technology

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pp. 15-66

It is especially significant, in Heidegger’s eyes, that the epoch of ancient technology coincides with the time of the theory of the four causes. Indeed, for Heidegger, the distinctive outlook of ancient technology found its most explicit expression in that theory. Where causality is understood as it is in the theory of the four causes, there ancient technology ...

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Part II. Modern Technology

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pp. 67-126

Heidegger begins his characterization of modern technology in “Die Frage nach der Technik” by speaking of the “essential domain” of technology. He does not say explicitly what the term “essential domain” (der Wesensbereich) means, but it is readily intelligible. Technology has been determined in its essence as a disclosive looking. Presumably, then, the ...

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Part III. The Danger in Modern Technology

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pp. 127-184

The general rubric under which Heidegger presents his essay on technology is that of a questioning, an asking. Yet the sense of the questioning— and of the possible answering—is by no means unproblematic. What sort of questioning is taking place in this essay, and what kind of answer is being sought? ...

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Part IV. Art

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pp. 185-212

Recall the setting for Heidegger’s lecture on technology. The occasion was a colloquium devoted to the topic of “The arts in the technological age.” The colloquium was sponsored by an institution dedicated to art, namely, the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, but it took place at a citadel of technology, a sort of German MIT, the Munich Institute of ...

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Part V. Detachment

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pp. 213-232

Let us now respectfully detach ourselves from “Die Frage nach der Technik.” That is, let us attempt to move beyond the essay, specifically by way of a sympathetic response to it. The essay is open-ended; it issues in an invitation and needs to be carried on. What it leaves open, basically, is practice. The essay is theoretical, it provides a diagnosis, but it leaves ...


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pp. 233-236

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Cited Works of Heidegger

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pp. 237-238

The following list includes only those works of Heidegger cited in the present study. Comprehensive bibliographies of Heidegger’s writings are readily available. Posted on the Web at http://www.umr8547.ens.fr/ Documents/HeidBiblio.html is an admirably exhaustive chronological bibliography. I cite Heidegger by the page number of the German text, according ...

Bibliography of Major Secondary Studies Devoted to Heidegger's Philosophy of Technology

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pp. 239-240


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pp. 241-248

E-ISBN-13: 9780791482308
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791466414
Print-ISBN-10: 0791466418

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2006

Series Title: SUNY series in Theology and Continental Thought

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Subject Headings

  • Technology -- Philosophy.
  • Heidegger, Martin, 1889-1976.
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