Preferred Citation: Rockmore, Tom. On Heidegger's Nazism and Philosophy. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1992 1992.

6 Nazism and Technology

Heidegger's Mature Theory of Technology

A discussion of the origin and influences on Heidegger's understanding of technology would be incomplete without an account of his mature view of technology. Now there is no single major text in which Heidegger develops his mature conception of the technological phenomenon. Rather, there are a number of works of varying size in which technology is a theme. These texts culminate in a four-lecture cycle, titled "Insight into What Is," given at the end of 1949 and repeated in 1950.[68] Of these lectures, one remains unpublished and nearly inaccessible.[69] A second one, which is published and available in English translation, is only minimally connected to the problem of technology.[70] Both of the remaining lectures are directly concerned with technology.[71] Both address the same, or similar material in related ways and both are from the same period. Since Heidegger subsequently reworked his discussion of "The Question concerning Technology," since it is more substantial, and since it concerns the "essence" of technology, it is representative of his mature understanding of technology.

The essay to which we now turn is difficult, even in comparison with Heidegger's other writings. For whatever reason, Heidegger's considerable capacity to communicate his meaning seems suddenly to have been bracketed, placed in parentheses as it were. He has further not been helped by a translation into English which is often even odder than Heidegger's frequently odd German text.[72] This is especially regrettable since Heidegger's thought, which normally depends on the analysis of language, is even more than usually dependent on etymological commentary in this essay.

One difficulty in presenting Heidegger's theory of technology is that it seems to follow squarely from his claims about the German language. We can start to describe his view by pointing to the parallel between this essay and Heidegger's persistent concern with the problem of Being. As in Being and Time , where he inquires into the meaning of Being, so in this essay he raises the question of the meaning of technology, or more precisely its essence. Here, after his turn away from the philosophical tradition, he claims to understand "essence" in a supposedly nonmeta-


physical sense. For Heidegger, the essence of technology is different from technology and not itself something technological.[73] This assertion depends on his understanding of "essence." Heidegger clarifies his understanding of "essence" and the essence of technology by pointing to the Latin words "quidditas " and "genus. " "Essence," or we can say the essence of essence, is something which, to reproduce his own terminology, endures, holds sway, administers itself, develops and decays. In this connection, he calls attention to the etymological relation of the term "essence" ("Wesen ") to the verb "währen " and to Goethe's use of the "mysterious" word "fortwähren ."[74] Perhaps what he has in mind is the distinction between something that just is, for instance a fixed property, and the Aristotelian concept of energeia , which denotes that which not only is but is also in act.[75]

Heidegger's strategy is to insist that an approach to technology that is not squarely based on Being—in a word, any approach other than his own—falls short of the phenomenon. Heidegger does not deny that technology is partly instrumental, although he denies that instrumentality is central to it. For Heidegger, everyone "knows" the "instrumental or anthropological statements about technology," that is, that technology is a means to an end and a human activity.[76] Whether or not everyone believes these statements to be true, certainly some observers, for instance Spengler, accept roughly this approach.[77] For Heidegger, the usual instrumental or anthropological conception of technology picks out something true about technology but misses its essence, which is neither instrumental nor anthropological. His solution is to address the noninstrumental, nonanthropological aspect of technology through a reflection on a concept which, in his view, is presupposed by both instrumental and noninstrumental, or essential, views of technology.

Heidegger's reflection links technology to teleology and, through teleology, to a Greek view of causality. Since he holds that ends and means relate to causality,[78] he attempts to show the noninstrumental essence of technology through a discussion of causality, as illustrated by Aristotle's familiar fourfold analysis. If technology results from human intentional actions, then it is normal enough to interpret it teleologically. Since Heidegger maintains an antianthropological angle of vision, he cannot invoke a human form of teleology. His solution is to invoke a conception of Being as the final agent. Since Being and Time , Heidegger has consistently argued that Being is what is sought by human being as the central concern and central question of human existence. Heidegger now supplements his quasi-Aristotelian view of Being as what is sought with a causal analysis of Being as causally active, as the real historical subject, based on the Aristotelian conception of causality.

Heidegger begins by pointing out that there is no corresponding


Greek word for what has become known as causality. Heidegger interprets the corresponding Greek concept as ways of responsibility (Verschulden ) for bringing something into appearance, of letting something come forward as present (An-Wesen ).[79] By deliberately employing a term incorporating the German for "essence" ("Wesen "), he smuggles his own conception of truth as disclosure into his reading of the ancient Greek view of causality. Heidegger goes on to maintain that the process of rendering present, or presencing, transfers from concealment to unconcealment within what he designates as the revealing (das Entbergen ). Since for Heidegger, revealing corresponds to what the Greeks called aletheia , his analysis leads to his familiar view of truth as disclosure.

We can summarize Heidegger's complex line of reasoning as follows. Technology, which is mainly understood instrumentally, is not only instrumental in nature. An analysis of the original Greek concept of causality, understood as a means of bringing into presence, suggests that the Greeks understood "causality" as "a revealing in general, or disclosure." Since disclosure is another name for truth, technology cannot be understood in an essential manner as instrumental; for it is essentially concerned with revealing, or truth. "Technology is therefore no mere means. Technology is a way of revealing."[80] It follows that the essence of technology does not consist in instrumentality since technology is a form of disclosure, or manifestation of truth.

We have been following Heidegger's teleological analysis of technology as a form of disclosure. Now this point is not tangential, but central, to Heidegger's view of technology. In order to tie the phenomenon of technology to the problem of Being, he needs to demonstrate that technology is the form in which Being manifests itself. The stakes are high since he needs to find a way to maintain his claim, central to his thought since Being and Time , that the problem of Being is prior to all other concerns. In order to make out this assertion, Heidegger must be able to develop a theory of technology on the basis of his theory of Being. The assimilation of technology to disclosure is intended to bring the phenomenon of technology within the orbit of his conception of Being.

The structure of the argument is clear, impressive, but finally unconvincing. Heidegger's analysis falters on a crucial point. His demonstration that technology is not merely instrumental rests on the analogy he invokes between the supposedly original meaning of causality in ancient Greek thought and modern technology. Now it is unclear that Heidegger's linguistic analysis of the meaning of the corresponding Greek term is correct. But if, for purposes of discussion, we grant that Heidegger has correctly captured the original meaning of the Greek idea of causality, it


does not follow that his ancient Greek model essentially or even accurately describes modern technology. In the absence of an explicit justification of this analogy, which Heidegger does not provide, we need not grant Heidegger's point, central to his analysis, that technology is a mode of disclosure. Although Heidegger might be correct, nothing he says about modern technology justifies this crucial inference.

In the remainder of his essay, Heidegger supposes this crucial, but undemonstrated, assertion: technology is essentially concerned with truth as a way of revealing. To begin with, he relies on the Greek etymology of the word "technology" ("Technik ") to make two points. First, techne belongs to poiesis as a mode of bringing forth (Her-vorbringen ). Here, Heidegger follows Aristotle's own discussion of the relation between techne and poiesis . Second, in ancient Greek thought techne is linked with episteme as a mode of knowledge. In effect, Heidegger conflates two different forms of knowledge, namely episteme , or science, and techne , or art. The basic difference, which is spelled out in Aristotle's discussion,[81] is roughly that between knowing how and knowing that. For Aristotle, only knowing in the full sense, either episteme or sophia , could be understood as a disclosure of an essence. In Aristotle's position, techne falls under the heading of practical theory, which does not reveal an essence. Following his earlier, pragmatic analysis of readiness-to-hand in Being and Time , Heidegger, however, insists that techne , and, hence, technology, concern the disclosure of essences. From this line of reasoning, based on the interpretation of the way the term "techne " figures in Greek philosophy, Heidegger again reaches the conclusion that technology is a mode of revealing, hence essentially associated with truth.[82]

The obvious objection is that Heidegger's view of techne is not descriptive of technology in the modern epoch. Heidegger concedes that his conclusion only partially applies to modern technology. He maintains that modern technology, which is also a revealing, is further characterized as a challenging (Herausfordern ). For Heidegger, modern technology specifically differs from its earlier forms in its formulation of unreasonable demands placed on our surrounding world. The unreasonable nature of the requirements put upon nature lie in the concern to extract and to store energy.

The revealing that rules in modern technology is a challenge which puts to nature the unreasonable demand [das Ansinnen] that it supply energy that can be extracted and stored. But 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.[83]


Heidegger understands this demand put to nature as disclosing, exposing, and as perpetuating itself in a further series of demands.

This putting upon [Stellen], put to the energy of nature, is a promotion [Fördern] in a two-fold manner. It promotes [fördert] in that it unlocks and exposes. Yet that demanding is always itself directed toward demanding something else, i.e., driving forward to the maximum utility at the least expense.[84]

Heidegger's sketch here of modern technology as consisting in an unlimited series of demands for energy put to nature calls for two comments. First, this view recalls the passage cited above from Being and Time , in which Heidegger calls attention to the idea of accepting nature as it is, as allowing nature to show itself, so to speak. Both passages seem to indicate a kind of vague ecological consciousness manifest in the assertion that our demands put to nature are unreasonable. We are meant to infer that when nature is required to respond to us on our terms only, something is covered up or at least left hidden.[85]

Second, there is an equally vague recognition that modern technology is linked to a self-perpetuating economic process that feeds on human beings and the entire surrounding world, as described, say, by Marx. Now Heidegger does not here or elsewhere endorse an economic interpretation of the modern world. In fact, he obviously cannot invoke this form of explanation since it runs counter to his reliance on Being as the ultimate explanatory factor. But equally obviously, the description of modern technology as an open-ended effort to extract and to store energy from nature is not meaningful in itself; it is meaningful only in the context of the self-perpetuating, increasing demands for ever-expanding economic activity typical of modern industrialized society.

Heidegger develops his view of technology as a form of disclosure by introducing Aristotelian concepts of potentiality and agency. Following Aristotle, he maintains that when disclosure occurs, a potentiality is actualized. He employs the term "Bestand "—the past participle of "bestehen ," meaning "to be permanent, or to persist"—to designate the potentiality to be actualized, more precisely to refer to the way in which what is concealed becomes unconcealed, or becomes present (an-west ).[86] He further invokes the specific conception of agency contained in his teleological view of technology as disclosure to assert the difficult point that human being, which provides the necessary avenue for disclosure, for instance in conceiving, acting, or doing this or that, does not itself control the process of disclosure. "But man does not have control over unconcealment itself, in which at any given time the real shows itself or withdraws."[87]


Heidegger's appeal to a transhuman form of agency is not in itself novel. There is considerable precedent for this kind of explanation, not only in theology, but virtually throughout the philosophical tradition— in modern German thought, in Hegel's concept of the absolute and Marx's idea of capital. Like Marx, who turns to capital to explain modern industrial society, including technology, Heidegger also relies on a transhuman explanatory principle to ground modern technology. If there is a transhuman causality at work, then human being is not the subject, or agent of the process, or at best human being possesses limited agency only. Heidegger obscurely expresses this point when he writes that "modern technology as an ordering revealing, is, then, no merely human doing."[88]

If technology is not a human doing, then Heidegger must describe the agent of the process. He characterizes the essence, but not the agent of technology under the heading "enframing [Gestell]." Heidegger deliberately uses this word, which ordinarly means "a piece of apparatus," in a nonstandard way to designate "the essence of technology."[89] We recall Heidegger's insistence that technology is a form of disclosure, or revealing of what is to be revealed. We further recall his conviction that the essence of technology is not itself technological. He now relates both points to his conception of enframing as the essence of technology in a formulation that seems more complex than what it means to say. "En-framing means the collection of that demanding that puts upon man, i.e. challenges him, to disclose the real, in the mode of ordering, as potential. Enframing means that way of disclosing which obtains [waltet] in the essence of modern technology and which is nothing technological."[90]

Heidegger's view of essence appears to conflate essence with the causal interpretation of agency he favors in this essay. An essence is what it is to be something, whereas a causal agent is a principle that is the source of an event. For instance, a match may cause a fire in a specific set of circumstances, but it is essential to the match to be able to burn, whether or not it causes a fire in something else. Heidegger, who fails to observe this distinction, employs his conception of enframing, which he identifies as the essence of technology, as a causal agent. If human being is not responsible for technology, it must be enframing that puts the so-called unreasonable demand to nature to yield energy that can be stored. And it must be enframing that reveals truth in the process of disclosure that transcends the instrumental aspect of modern technology.

For Heidegger, science depends on technology and not conversely. An obvious objection to Heidegger's analysis follows from the fact that modern science, for instance, mathematical physics, is some two centuries older than modern technology. It is natural to believe, as has often been believed, that modern technology is dependent upon the rise of


modern science, and hence to be explained in that way. Heidegger responds that modern natural science does not prepare the way to technology, but only to modern technology. He maintains that in physics the so-called demanding disclosure that typifies technology already rules, so that physics is merely the messenger, so to say, of enframing. For Heidegger, it only appears that modern physics makes modern technology possible since the essence of modern technology has long been hidden. He sums up his claim that modern technology must be understood through enframing, not through modern science, as follows:

Because the essence of modern technology lies in enframing, modern technology must employ exact physical science. In this way, the deceptive illusion arises that modern technology might be applied natural science. This illusion can assert itself only as long as neither the essential origin of modern science nor the essence of modern technology is sufficiently found out.[91]

Heidegger obviously intends to defend his view that technology derives from Being. His defense consists of the unsupported statement that enframing, which he regards as the essence of technology, was manifest in physics before it became manifest in modern technology. Now it follows that it is illusory to regard modern technology as applied science only if one accepts Heidegger's assertion about enframing as true without supporting evidence. Heidegger's analysis is further questionable since it is unclear that modern science, which frequently makes use of technology, is essentially technological. Although technology plays an important role in modern science, there are exceptions, types of theoretical physics, say, which do not depend on technology. Heidegger's point is, hence, not descriptive of modern science as a whole; at best, it applies to part of modern science only. In sum, we may refuse to accept Heidegger's suggestion, through remarks on the Greek concept of causality, that enframing is the essence of technology. We should refuse to accept Heidegger's assertion that modern science depends on technology since he does not argue this point and it is apparently false.

Heidegger is apparently convinced that he has met the challenge posed by the widespread interpretations of technology as instrumental and as applied science. In the remainder of his essay, he repeats material already presented and further discusses his conception of enframing through connections drawn to destiny, danger, and art. The link to destiny recalls Heidegger's remarks in Being and Time , to which we have frequently referred, on fate (Schicksal ) and destiny (Geschick ). Heidegger returns to the notion of destiny in a series of remarks on the connection between enframing and disclosure. The first step is the com-


ment, following from the idea of enframing as a revealing, that the essence of technology brings man on the way to disclosure. This leads to the second step, contained in the further comment that "to bring on the way" ("auf einen Weg bringen ") is equivalent to the locution "to send" ("schicken "). On this fragile, linguistic basis, Heidegger describes destiny as a collective sending. "We shall call that collective sending [versammelde Schicken] which first sends man upon this way of revealing destiny ."[92]

Heidegger links destiny to history, production, and disclosure. He maintains that we understand the essence of history in terms of destiny. Or, as he also says, it is through the sending (geschickliches ) that it becomes historical (geschichtlich ).[93] He further describes destiny as a bringing forth (Her-vor-bringen ) or producing, that is, as poetic, where "poetic" is understood in terms of the Greek "poiesis ." And he maintains that the destiny of disclosure rules man and not conversely, although he denies—using another word for destiny or fate (Ver-hängnis —that this is a compulsion (Zwang ). For Heidegger, who now distantly echoes his conception of freedom as submission to authority in the rectoral address, freedom is unrelated to will in any way. He insists that one becomes free in belonging to the area of destiny as someone who listens (ein Hörender ) not as someone who obeys (ein Höriger ). Since revealing is a process of concealment, he also says that freedom rules over the free in the sense of what is lit up (Gelichteten )—even perhaps illuminated—or disclosed (Entborgenen ).

Heidegger's remarks on the connection between enframing and destiny are based on his impressive capacity—some would say his abuse of the language—to draw attention to linguistic analogies. The etymological similarities he notices between sending (Schicken ), destiny (Geschick ) and history (Geschichte ) are a slender reed upon which to connect technology and these other phenomena. If history is a collective happening, it does not follow that history can be understood as reflecting human destiny in the Heideggerian sense of the term. One must further question the interpretation of destiny as poetic. This inference follows only if the possibilities that a person or a people might desire to incarnate or take on are firmly located in the past, as Heidegger maintains. Yet tradition as such is not necessarily desirable, and, hence, worthy of repetition; only some traditions are.

Finally, the description of human freedom on display in the role of the listener is a qualified restatement of Heidegger's view of Dasein as concerned with the meaning of Being. Although enframing is related to destiny, it is not akin to moira in the Greek sense, as something which could not be otherwise. Heidegger rejects the idea of technology as fate "where 'fate' means the inevitableness of an unalterable course."[94] Hei-


degger is concerned to keep open the possibility that a qualified observer—perhaps even a philosopher who has now gone beyond philosophy, such as Heidegger—can free us from technology. Once again, he affirms a quasi-Platonic view of philosophy, in this case his post-metaphysical thought, as the condition of true politics. His clear aim is to preserve a social role for his new thinking which is no longer philosophy. But his account of human freedom in the face of technology need not be accepted. For Heidegger does not justify his insight, which he rather seems to "deduce" from his prior theory.

The remark on danger is associated with the possibility of freedom from technology. Heidegger develops this point through further consideration of the idea of disclosure. Returning to his claim that the essence of technology is enframing, he notes that disclosure imposes a choice between what is disclosed and what is not disclosed and hence remains hidden. For Heidegger, the choice between these possibilities endangers human being with respect to destiny. In his view, as destiny disclosure is itself danger. "The destiny of disclosure is not any form [of danger] but the danger."[95] Heidegger makes a determined effort to convince us that he is concerned not only with types of danger but with danger itself in a series of examples. One form of danger lies in the possible misinterpretation of what is disclosed, or revealed. Examples of this phenomenon are said to include the reductive interpretation of God as an efficient cause, as in the concept of the God of the philosophers supposedly prevalent in theology; and the possibility, in an apparent reference to modern science, that in the midst of correct determinations "the true withdraws from the correct."[96]

For Heidegger, who now introduces a distinction between forms of danger, the destiny of disclosure is danger as such; but the destiny that obtains in enframing is the supreme danger. Heidegger believes that the so-called supreme danger manifests itself in two ways: through human demands addressed to nature, and in the delusion that everywhere human being encounters only human being. As concerns enframing, Heidegger obscurely holds that when a person puts demands to nature, one fails to see that it is the person who is being addressed. This remark is a reformulation of Heidegger's earlier point in Being and Time , that in putting demands to nature we fail to attend to nature and cannot perceive what our very demand occults. The statement that we fail to grasp that it is the person who is being addressed is a further statement of Heidegger's conviction that Dasein is defined by its concern with Being. It is also a hint that by coming to grips with technology, the authentic gathering of the German people may occur. In that case, the obscurely expressed danger, on which Heidegger insists in this essay, is nothing more than the possibility that people, particularly the German people, will fail


to realize the Nazi goal. If this reading is correct, then through his attention to the danger of disclosure Heidegger is insisting again on the point central to the rectoral address: only if he leads the leaders will it be possible to bring about an authentic gathering of the German Volk . For even at this late date, after he has turned against philosophy, Heidegger, who thinks of himself as possessing insight even into the future, continues to believe in the political destiny of his view of Being; for his post-metaphysical thought is the only way to realize German authenticity.

Heidegger sees danger as following from the mysterious concept of enframing. He maintains that it is enframing that shunts man into the kind of revealing that derives from making demands to nature and which, he believes, conceals other types of disclosure, even the disclosure of truth. It follows that it is not technology but rather its essence that is the danger. "Destiny, that sends to ordering, is the most extreme danger. Technology is not dangerous. There is no demonry of technology; on the contrary, there is the mystery of its essence. As a destiny of disclosure, the essence of technology is the danger."[97] Heidegger's point, consistent with his objection, is that metaphysics, namely an inauthentic thought of Being, blocks access to the thought of Being. Since for Heidegger technology prolongs metaphysics, then its essence impedes access to Being. Because an authentic view of Being is the prerequisite for authentic human being, the consequence is to prevent the manifest German destiny.

Heidegger regards the danger as great but not as irremediable. In a reference to Hölderlin, he maintains that danger and what he calls the saving power are entwined. In order to expound the sense in which technology harbors a so-called saving power, Heidegger interprets the verb "to save" ("retten ") in a causal sense, consistent with his analysis of the Greek notion of causality, to mean "to cause the essence to appear."[98] Heidegger's reading of "to save" is consistent with an interpretation of the entire essay and Heidegger's theory of technology as part of a continuing concern with German destiny, in the present case through overcoming the danger of technology. We are meant to infer that the essence of technology, which is itself a great danger, has within itself the possibility of disclosing its essence. But we still need to understand the term "essence." Turning now to the usual senses of the term, Heidegger maintains that enframing is not the essence of technology if that means something like "a common genus," since it is rather a way of disclosure. For Heidegger, it is technology itself which demands that we think the concept of essence in another manner.

On this basis, Heidegger considers anew the concept of essence which the Greeks already understood as permanence. Like the Greeks, Heidegger also stresses permanence, since what he calls essencing


(Wesende ) endures. In this respect, he invokes the idea of an initial agency in order to grasp permanence as relative to that which is itself its source and so to speak atemporally permanent. In a passage difficult to render into English and to interpret, which Heidegger italicizes in order to stress its importance, he writes: "Only the granted endures [das Gewährte währt]. The initially enduring out of the early [period] is the granting [das Gewährende ]."[99] Heidegger may have nothing more obscure in mind than his familiar idea that the destiny of the Volk is permanently present as a possibility to be seized within history through appropriate insight. We are familiar with his insistence that human being cannot seize its own possibility by itself since the capacity to do so must in effect be granted by a suprahuman agent, presumably Being, which is responsible for the historical process. In this way, Heidegger can maintain that the original granting, in respect to which enframing comes to be, also sends along with it a so-called saving power within technology itself. The result, once again, is to cast himself, as the one who understands technology, in the familiar, quasi-Platonic role of the thinker indispensable to the good life.

Heidegger's interpretation of technology as either a danger or a sign of salvation lies in the link he seeks to establish between technology and Being, his main concern, and the role now attributed to Being as a causal agent. The danger derives from the turn away from Being, in which technology prolongs bad metaphysics. His positive point is that if only we will turn back to Being, technology can be overcome. On this basis, it is easy to infer that the saving power will in the first instance be due to the thinker who finally is not led astray but has insight into Being, namely Heidegger himself. Although technology tends mainly to turn us toward the formulation of ever new demands to be put to nature, we can break through the fascination due to the instrumental approach to technology to seize its essence.

Everything, then, depends upon this: that we ponder this arising and that, recollecting, we watch over it. How can this happen? Above all through our catching sight of what comes to presence in technology, instead of merely staring at the technological. So long as we represent technology as an instrument, we remain held fast in the will to master it. We press on past the essence of technology.[100]

There is a possible tension between Heidegger's quasi-Platonic insistence on the decisive character of philosophic insight and his anti-Cartesian rejection of an anthropological approach to technology. Heidegger is careful not to accord too much weight to insight into technology in order to preserve the claim that technology is not a human doing


and hence not under human control. To do so would, to overstate the case for his grasp of technology, even the possibility to grasp it, only undercut his own view that technology follows from the turn away from Being. He notes that the essence of technology is ambiguous, since it is associated with danger and with the so-called saving power. He states that the question concerning technology, formulated in the title of his essay, is the question concerning the event (Ereignis ) of revealing and concealing in which truth appears. In this way, he maintains, we are not yet saved, although by facing danger hope grows. "Might there then be granted a beginning disclosure, a saving in its initial appearance [zum ersten Scheinen] in the midst of danger, which in the age of technology rather hides than shows?"[101]

This passage suggests a vague sense of hope, just as Kant invoked the postulates of God and immortality to entertain the possibility of happiness as following from moral action.[102] Heidegger immediately moves to dispel any false optimism by a series of remarks on the Greek concept of art suggested by "techne ," the root of the word "technology." He utilizes his conviction of the superiority of Greece over modernity to suggest an alternative view of technology. According to Heidegger, in ancient Greece art served to manifest the true as the beautiful, as a form of disclosure. Once again rejecting any velleity of human agency, he states that we cannot now tell "whether art may again be granted this highest possibility of its essence,"[103] namely the capacity of revealing truth, presumably insight into Being useful for human being. Since human being is not the final agent, it cannot itself effect the return to the original sense of art. At best, it can reflect on the nontechnological essence of technology from the basis of art concerned with truth, precisely the stance Heidegger takes in this essay.

We can summarize the main lines of Heidegger's mature understanding of technology as follows. His approach to technology follows from his concern with Being, in particular through application of his theory of truth as disclosure. His view is marked by a fourfold rejection of technology as a human doing, as instrumental, as applied science, or as a form of progress. (1) To begin with, Heidegger rejects the anthropological approach to technology since in his view technology derives from Being and not from human being. (2) Heidegger also rejects the widespread views of modern technology as essentially instrumental on the grounds that technology is not only instrumental; rather, it is connected with the appearance of truth, hence, with problem of Being. (3) Heidegger further rejects the interpretation of technology as applied science on the grounds that modern science presupposes the essence of technology. (4) Finally, Heidegger rejects the idea that modern technology represents progress. On the contrary, modern technology is fundamentally danger-


ous because it has turned away from the manifestation of truth which was the function of the Greek view of art. Heidegger holds that technology induces a particular way of relating to the world revealed under this perspective which simultaneously conceals it in other ways.

6 Nazism and Technology

Preferred Citation: Rockmore, Tom. On Heidegger's Nazism and Philosophy. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1992 1992.