by Cozette Blumenfeld
Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher born in 1889, and regarded as one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. Heidegger is best known for his accordance with phenomenology, hermeneutics, and existentialism. Phenomenology is the study of experience and consciousness, while hermeneutics is the study of interpretation, and existentialism, the exploration of human existence. Heidegger coined the term “Dasein” in his text Being and Time (1927). The term means “being there”, a non-abstract thought that questioned the meaning of intelligible being. The philosopher’s existence in the 20th century influenced his focus on technology; to Heidegger, technology is essential to comprehending our time. In the philosophy of technology, Heidegger contributed The Question Concerning Technology (1954). In this text, Heidegger exerts three main claims. One, that technology is a way of understanding the world. Two, technology is not human activity, but beyond human control. And three, technology is the greatest danger to humanity. In accordance with the philosopher’s thoughts on technology, Heidegger also strongly opposed the Western thinking that nature is disposable, infinite, or in his words a “standing reserve” on call (Wikipedia, 2021). Heidegger was a member of the Nazi Party in Germany, creating criticism of his philosophies, and proving to be highly controversial. The philosopher, in private, described his Nazi political involvement as “the greatest stupidity of my life”, though never issued an apology (Wikipedia, 2021). Heidegger’s philosophy has been influential beyond contemporary philosophy, reaching literary criticism, theology, psychotherapy, cognitive science, and even archaeology.
Heidegger, Martin, and William Lovitt. The Question Concerning Technology: and Other Essays. Harper Colophon, 1977.
Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time. Stellar Books, 2013.
Heidegger, Martin. Ontology--The Hermeneutics of Facticity. Indiana University Press, 2010.
“Reading Heidegger: The Question Concerning Technology.” FutureLearn, www.futurelearn.com/info/courses/philosophy-of-technology/0/steps/26315. Accessed 24 Mar. 2021.
Wheeler, Michael. “Martin Heidegger.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, 12 Oct. 2011, plato.stanford.edu/entries/heidegger/. Accessed 24 Mar. 2021.