Handle With Care: Poetry & the ‘Other Thinking’

The final in a four-part series on Martin Heidegger’s work ‘The Question Concerning Technology.’

For previous episodes in this series, see: The Contemplation Will Not Be Televised (Episode 012)Dashboard Knowledge and Technology (Episode 013)Technology as a Revealing: Everything Functions (Episode 014)

Also, for some additional context, see: Questioning the Nature of our Perspective (Episode 002)


Care, Poetry and the ‘Other Thinking’

Discussion of the Being of Dasein as care, and how this relates to poetry and to the ‘other thinking’ that Heidegger describes.  Continuing with the discussion of Martin Heidegger’s The Question Concerning Technology, I delve more into the relationship of poiēsis to technē, and what this means for the role of the poet in the face of the danger that the essence of technology presents to humanity.

Not an Attack on Technology, But a Call to Care

This explanation is not an attack on technology, nor is it technophobic. The emphasis is rather on the notion of care, and how care is the essence of being human. Developments in robotics and artificial intelligence are not the problem, but rather point to the problem of the endangering of care. The work of Dreyfus and Kelly helps us to understand Heidegger’s notion of care in the context of technology. Also, Heidegger’s interview with Der Spiegel comes into play, with its more direct and accessible language on this very topic.

The End of Philosophy

Also in this episode, the notion of poetry and the ‘other thinking’ that Heidegger raises in the Der Spiegel interview is central. I then explain Heidegger’s remarks concerning the end of philosophy, by taking a look at his understanding of Nietzsche’s position at the ‘end’ of the Western metaphysical tradition, which I also contrast with Nietzsche’s similar view of himself. I discuss the relationship between Nietzsche’s idea that ‘God is dead’ with Heidegger’s notion that philosophy is at its end.

‘Only a god can still save us’ & ‘Questioning is the Piety of Thinking’

Heidegger’s famous remark that ‘only a god can save us’ is, like Nietzsche’s comment, far deeper than the literal sense of the statement. I give a thumbnail description of Heidegger’s treatment of Nietzsche. I also discuss his remarks about preparing ourselves for the possible appearance of a god. The discussion proceeds by using references not only to past discussions about ‘appearance,’ but also to Dreyfus and Kelly and their  term of ‘flattening.’  Moreover, Heidegger’s conclusion of The Question Concerning Technology points to the ‘other thinking’ mentioned in his Der Spiegel interview, in which he states that ‘Questioning is the piety of thinking.’

Thinkers/Authors whose ideas are discussed: Martin Heidegger

Also Mentioned: Pår Lagerkvist. Hubert Dreyfus. Sean Dorrance Kelly. Friedrich Hölderlin. René Char. Friedrich Nietzsche.

Works Referred to:

Evening Land / Aftonland (Lagerkvist)

The Question Concerning Technology / Die Frage Nach der Technik (Heidegger)

All Things Shining (Dreyfus, Kelly)


For both German and English versions of Heidegger’s interview with Der Spiegel, see the links in the notes to the previous episode.

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