Heidegger's Philosophy of Science

By Trish Glazebrook | Go to book overview

Science and Technology

IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTERS I have traced Heidegger's analysis of science from its incipience in phenomenology, through its treatment of experimentation and its entanglement with the political, to its vision of latent new beginnings in the ancient legacy. The logic of that movement is governed by the notion of projection. In this chapter I focus on writings from the 1950s—What Is Called Thinking?, "Science and Reflection," and "The Question Concerning Technology"—in order to explore the relation between science and technology that still preoccupied Heidegger in 1976. In reading Aristotle, Heidegger uncovered projection not in physics, but in τέχνη. In the 1950s he argues that the essence of science lies in the essence of technology because a trace of ancient τέχνη remains in modern science. That trace is the mechanism of a priori projection that Heidegger names "Ge-stell." The relation between ancient τέχνη and modern technology is mediated by science. Accordingly, science plays a much more significant role in Heidegger's critique of modernity than has been acknowledged by his critics, for science informs the modern age, and Heidegger's description of its limits is also a vision of what lies beyond them.

In "The Age of the World Picture," Heidegger identifies five phenomena that are essential to the modern age: machine technology, science, aesthetics, culture, and the loss of the gods. He asks what interpretation of truth, what understanding of what is, lies at the foundation of science. He argues that if he can uncover the ground of science, "the entire essence of the modern age will have to let itself be apprehended from out of that ground" (AWP 117/H 76). The modern epoch can be understood by means of an account of science. Heidegger chooses science here to uncover the metaphysics of modernity, since science stands in a crucial position with respect to that metaphysics. As early as 1935, Heidegger attributes the genesis of modern

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Heidegger's Philosophy of Science
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Heidegger's Philosophy of Science xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: Metaphysics, Mathematics, and Science 14
  • 2: Experiment and Representation 65
  • 3: Science in the Institution 119
  • 4: Ancient Science 163
  • 5: Science and Technology 207
  • Bibliography 255
  • Index 267
  • Index of Greek Expressions 277
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