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Responding to technology : Heidegger and Marcuse on thinking and acting at the technological turning

By Daniel McDonald


Martin Heidegger's writings on modern technology are an important contribution to twentieth century philosophy. In these works, Heidegger argues that modern technology is a mode of world disclosure that reduces human beings to raw materials. Inherent in these writings are significant social implications, which emerge out of the view that human beings are reduced to raw materials under the influence of modern technology. However, these social issues remain underdeveloped in Heidegger's own work. This thesis aims to show that Herbert Marcuse's ideas about the social implications of modern technology can be used to supplement Heidegger's writings on modern technology, in order to provide a more complete account of the social issues related to modern technology. It argues that a convergence between the two authors on the subject of modern technology can be established based on the idea that technology sets up a "world", the phenomenological understanding of modern science and the view that modern technology reduces human beings and nature to raw materials. It then proceeds to develop an enriched account of the social sphere based on the idea that modern technology reduces the political sphere to an administrative technocracy

Year: 2007
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