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Heidegger, technology, Ge-Stell, hermeneutics, phenomenology, GPS


Continental Philosophy | Epistemology | Philosophy | Philosophy of Science


I propose an etymological translation of Ge-Stell, Heidegger’s word for the essence of modern technology, from its Greek and Latin roots as “synthetic com-posit[ion]ing,” which presciently portends our twenty-first century experience of the internetted WorldWideWeb with its virtual infinity of websites in cyberspace, Global Positioning Systems, interlocking air traffic control grids, world-embracing weather maps, the 24-7 world news coverage of cable TV-networks like CNN, etc., etc.—all of which are structured by the complex programming based on the computerized and ultimately simple Leibnizian binary-digital logic generating an infinite number of combinations of the posit (1) and non-posit (0). The sharp contrast between the global time-space technologically foreshortened into instantaneity and simultaneity and the radically local time-space of our situated historical existence—in short, the temporal-spatial tension between Ge-Stell and Da-Sein — is examined for ways and means of bringing them together in contemporaneous compatibility.

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This chapter was originally published in Babette Babich and Dimitri Ginev, eds., The Multidimensionality of Hermeneutic Phenomenology (Frankfurt am Main: Springer, 2014).