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The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,634 ratings  ·  56 reviews
To read Heidegger is to set out on an adventure. The essays in this volume are intriguing, challenging, & often baffling to the reader, calling him to abandon all superficial scanning & to enter wholeheartedly into the serious pursuit of thinking. Heidegger is not a 'primitive' or a 'romantic.' He is not one who seeks escape from the burdens & responsibilities ...more
Paperback, 222 pages
Published February 19th 1977 by Harper & Row (NYC et al.) (first published 1938)
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Jan 31, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: philosophy, 2012
Holy cow this one looks good. Also some lectures sound like awesome sci-fi/horror flicks: "The Thing," "The Danger," and "The Turning."
231212: why, after all this time, after struggling to follow... do i give this four? mainly because i like to think, and i am fairly certain my difficulties stem from my ignorance of texts, ideas, arguments offered. yes i did really like this. it is worth reading slowly, only bit by bit, and maybe a tutor would help...
Mike Defi
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Imagine if “the fault in our stars” were a mishmash of Aristotle and Hölderlin
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his lecture The Question Concerning Technology (1953), Martin Heidegger explores the status of technology and its relationship to human being and Being in general.

To put it simply: when natural philosophers like Parmenides and Heracleitos started asking questions about Being, they were able to penetrate to the fundamental ontological structure of everything. During these times, technology had a much broader scope than it has for us. Philosophy, science (the study of nature) and poetry all
Austin Raines
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Question Concerning Technology is a powerfully rewarding, harrowing, and near-impenetrable read. I can't claim to fully grasp all the foundations and corollaries of Heidegger's argument, but when the danger of the essence of technology, and its power to enframe all around it into inventory, began to take shape in my mind and understanding, it was one of those rare moments where as a reader I came across a truly beautiful and horrifying revelation. Interestingly, I didn't feel Heidegger was ...more
Amanda Lynn
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Going in brimming with excitement and ready to have mind blown, I was only able to stomach his Technology chapter. It was as though his big head clouded the clarity of his actual point. He seemed to be explaining the same ideas in circles - naysaying and leaving his own contradictions of logic unaddressed. It was quite troubling in the way that it all came across more pompous than purposeful. That alone eats at me like a rock in my shoe. I didn't feel blown away or intrigued at all. Just don't ...more
Due for a re-read
Dec 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
These can be very difficult. Heidegger's writing style demands a slow, extremely careful reading, and even after going over a page a few times, your never sure if you've really gotten it. But he makes these chains of super smart observations that just follow one after the other so quickly that it seems impossible to keep up with some times. There is just so much thought that pivots around the ideas presented in these pieces that it's hard not to be drawn into the often perplexing etymologically ...more
Nov 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Masterful as always, Heidegger explores the darkness of technology. Is technology really so bad? No. But neither is it our salvation. In The Question Concerning Technology, we begin to look at how modern technology is different than the technology of the past.

This is a great read and not a bad way to begin looking into Heideggerian thought.
Lindsay Moore
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Some of the best work by Heidegger in articulating the "two kinds of thinking," understanding Neitzsche's "death of God," and the danger we face today in losing the meaning of Being.
Samuel Scarborough
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Only read the Question concerning technology.
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This made much more sense the third time through, and after having had a few discussions with people who have read Heidegger for years. The title essay has a lot of overlap, or one can see links that have been developed from this piece, with Tiqqun, and Giorgio Agamben's writings on apparatuses, critical-metaphysics, and many other concepts. Heidegger makes the claim that technology is something one can't abstract themselves out of, that techne forms much of the basis for how we exist in the ...more
John Carter McKnight
This is as difficult a book to review as it is to read. I'm reading Heidegger from science & technology studies/philosophy of technology, rather than as a philosopher. As such, it's difficult to find the patience for Heidegger's idiosyncratic and nearly impenetrable language: I might have better luck with Beowulf in the orignial.

That said, this short anthology is very well translated - the translator's thorough notes are an immense help. It's a strong assembly of a particular stage in
Urtė Mor
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I took me a couple of really careful reads to really follow all of the threads of thought all the way through to the conclusion. It is one of those texts where every single sentence leads you somewhere and you can appreciate Heidegger's incredible mastery of language and ability to pack it full of meaning. This 30-page text about technology, written in 1954 is able to get to the root of the fundamental essence of its subject more than many 300 page books can in 2019. And almost 70 years later ...more
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This essay of Heidegger's was mandatory reading for a number of classes i took in Critical theory and philosophy; etc. I need to re-read it again; but generally speaking, it offers great insight into and/or predicts/deals with a lot of the side effects re: current technological trends and their inevitable impact on our (shared, and/or evolving) collective consciousness (much like Orwell predictions are yet being realized as he laid out in his 1984; and/or Weber, Marx & Engles predicted ...more
Jul 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Although the critique of technology is important in understanding the value of Heidegger in the context of globalism, I think that some of the ways in which he "frames" it (particularly the Gestell, sadly translated as "enframing") is among the most problematic, and to me, least appealing elements of his philosophy. Nonetheless, some important essays (Question Concerning Technology, Age of the World Picture, Ge-stell), and some excellent essays (Word of Nietzsche: God is Dead) too.
Jul 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: intellectuals, students
Recommended to Ian by: assigned for Western Culture class
A very difficult, but rewarding, examination of the "essence of technology," in which lies the "supreme danger" and the "saving power." There is a questioning of the modernization of the society and Heidegger urges us to remember that art needs to play a role in society to prevent us from simply becoming a cog in a giant productivity machine, a "standing reserve," as he puts it.
Steve Stanley
Sep 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Heidegger does a great job of quickly and efficiently explaining technology and tools, then building onto it to consider some major issues on the "evils" of technology.

This is a "quick" read, unlike his Being and Time (which is a great book as well).
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Actually really love this one the 2nd time through.
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
read this.
Paul Callister
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: philosophy
Heidegger frames the questions for modern times. A must, but very difficulty read. See also, Poetry, Thought and Language.
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Toon Pepermans
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it
(I didn't read 'The Turning' and 'Science and Reflection')

As usual with Heidegger, I have mixed feelings: I'm not a big fan of his writing/thinking style but he touches on some important topics.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
I'm probably a cretin, but I did give it one more star than Being and Nothingness, so there's that.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Billie Pritchett
Feb 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: heidegger
Martin Heidegger's Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays is a relatively short book (a couple hundred pages). It contains five essays, (1) the title essay, plus (2) "The Turning," (3) "The World of Nietzsche," (4) "The Age of the World Picture," and (5) "Science and Reflection." The upshot of Heidegger's collection is that there is something particular about the modern epoch that is not characteristic of any other time.

It is a bit unclear but it looks like the modern epoch is, for
Denton Peter McCabe
I did not find Heidegger to be difficult at all. Repetitive, yes. Circumlocutory, yes. Vapid, yes. Challenging the titular essay of this collection, I would like to say that technology is not revelatory in the way Heidegger claims. It is true that technology deals with the real and has concerned itself with functioning in relation to the real —although, only by dismantling it, subverting it, perverting the real, reassigning it to an exploitable position in contemporary illusion— but it never ...more
Oct 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have taught these essays on several occassions, and I still enjoy reading them. Heidegger displays all that is great and limiting in his philosophy of being in these essays. On the one hand, these are wonderful philosophy vignettes offering great incite into the relationship between technology and thinking. The works bring one to see the limits of technological thought and call upon us to consider other forms of thinking, particularly the poetic, but also a kind of holistic, pretechnological ...more
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Reading Martin Heidegger is always an adventure. The essays in this volume intrigue, challenge, and baffle. Superficial scanning must be abandoned, this is serious thought. Heidegger's roots lie deep in the Western philosophical tradition, yet his thought is unique in its language, and its expression. Heidegger has been benefited from an old style European education. he has been taught by the Greeks, German idealism, phenomenology, and the scholastic theological tradition. He has fused these ...more
Theresa Macphail
If you're into technology AND philosophy, then you should definitely read this book. This is probably one of the most referenced texts in technology studies and for good reason (I personally don't agree with his premises, but found the examination useful nonetheless). Heidegger explores humanity's relationship to technology here through an analysis of just what the essence of "technology" is. This is heavy stuff for your average reader, but if theory is your thing, then put this on your list.
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Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) was a German philosopher whose work is perhaps most readily associated with phenomenology and existentialism, although his thinking should be identified as part of such philosophical movements only with extreme care and qualification. His ideas have exerted a seminal influence on the development of contemporary European philosophy. They have also had an impact far ...more
“...then he comes to the brink of a precipitous fall; that is, he comes to the point where he himself will have to be taken as standing-reserve. Meanwhile man, precisely as the one so threatened, exalts himself to the posture of lord of the earth. In this way the impression comes to prevail that everything man encounters exists only insofar as it is his construct. This illusion gives rise in turn to one final delusion: It seems as though man everywhere and always encounters only himself... In truth, however, precisely nowhere does man today any longer encounter himself, i.e. his essence. Man stands so decisively in attendance on the challenging-forth of Enframing that he does not apprehend Enframing as a claim, that he fails to see himself as the one spoken to, and hence also fails in every way to hear in what respect he ek-sists, from out of his essence, in the realm of an exhortation or address, and thus can never encounter only himself.” 9 likes
“But what help is it to us to look into the constellation of truth? We look into the danger and see the growth of the saving power.
Through this we are not yet saved. But we are thereupon summoned to hope in the growing light of the saving power. How can this happen? Here and now and in little things, that we may foster the saving power in its increase. This includes holding always before our eyes the extreme danger.”
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