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An introduction to Martin Heidegger’s work, “The Question Concerning Technology” (Die Frage nach der Technik) as a means of furthering our discussion about contemplation as a way of thinking. This week we begin a new arc in the discussion by looking at the relationship between technology and thinking. Building upon the various inquiries into contemplation and reflective thinking that we have made in recent weeks, we begin to examine technology, truth and what we can observe about our relationship to the Being from looking into the essence of technology. After opening with some reflections on a 1956 lecture by Paul Wienpahl, the rest of the episode is concerned with a close reading of the early part of Heidegger’s famous essay from 1953. The work of David Bohm and Owen Barfield is also brought into the discussion at times in order to provide context for interpretation and understanding of Heidegger.

Thinkers/Authors whose ideas are discussed: Martin Heidegger, Aristotle, Paul Wienpahl, David Bohm, Owen Barfield

Also mentioned: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Henri Bortoft, Benedict De Spinoza, Gil Scott-Heron

Concepts: knowing as contemplation (philosophy) versus knowing as domination (Scientism); distinguishing between technology and the essence of technology; truth as unconcealment as opposed to correspondence theory; the danger of seeing technology as “neutral”; Aristotle’s Four Causes, as presented traditionally, and then as presented by Heidegger in a more ‘participatory’ way (with ‘participatory’ here being a reference to both Bohm and Barfield, not a term specifically used by Heidegger)

Works Referred to:
The Question Concerning Technology / Die Frage nach der Technik (Heidegger)
On the Essence of Truth / Vom Wesen der Wahrheit (Heidegger)

Link: Paul Wienpahl, “An Unorthodox Lecture,” abridged version published in Manas Journal, Vol IX No 24, 13 June 1956

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