CHARLES L BETROS, Fordham University


This dissertation explicates the critical account that Heidegger, in his later writings, gives of the ontological significance of modern technology. It takes the central thrust of his critique of technology to be found in his contrast between the modern technological world whose omnivorous essence Heidegger calls "enframing" (Gestell) and the more originary context of human existence which he calls the "fourfold" (Geviert) of the earth, the sky, the mortals, and the divinities. Antecedents for Heidegger's critique are found in his earlier work, Being and Time, both in his critique there of the Cartesian worldless subject and in his critique there of inauthentic Dasein. Heidegger's rejection of the "instrumental," "anthropological," and "applied science" interpretations of modern technology are discussed along with his account of the essential "danger" of technology and the possibility he sees for a "turning" in the history of being in which enframing is superseded by the fourfold. The contrast between enframing and the fourfold is further explicated in terms of Heidegger's contrast between the "calculative thinking" which runs the technological world and a "meditative thinking" which takes its measure from the fourfold. The author expresses some reservations about whether the "turning" should be conceived as an end to enframing altogether. He suggests that the turning be construed not as a possibility for a complete overthrow of the technological pattern of life, but as a possibility for the reform of that pattern of life. It may be possible to construe science and technology as less antithetical to the fourfold than Heidegger is inclined to allow. The dissertation concludes with an examination of Heidegger's place in the philosophy of technology.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

BETROS, CHARLES L, "HEIDEGGER'S CRITIQUE OF TECHNOLOGY" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8615705.