109 , 2018-04-01 , 法政大学国際文化学部
The purpose of this series of papers, starting with the current work, is to critically examine metaphysics of Heidegger's philosophy of technology (Technik), and to question the kind of “arts of existence” in the Foucauldian sense. I consider the possibility of overcoming nihilism in “art (Kunst)”, in contrast to "technique (Technik)", which Heidegger dealt with in a lecture on The Question Concerning Technology (Die Frage nach der Technik) (1953). Heidegger argued that “art of technology (Kunst)” provides effective way to overcome modern nihilism. Depending on his most favorite poet Friedrich Hölderlin’s paradoxical words, Heidegger thought that the most critical situation should be salvaged. In other words, he believed that if our world fell into the most critical situation of nihilism due to technology (Technik), it must be saved by art of technology (Kunst). Relying on Canadian sociologist Arthur Kroker’s The Will to Technology and the Culture of Nihilism: Heidegger, Nietzsche, Marx (2004), I examine the philosophy of contemporary art and technology, in order to relativize the “art of technology (Kunst)” assumed by Heidegger and his philosophy of technology itself. Kroker argues that Heidegger's metaphysics of technology should be adopted in order to overcome the present nihilism. According to Kroker, "completed nihilism" in which nihilism is realized in a perfect form is called “hyper-nihilism.” According to him, Nietzsche predicted that the age of nihilism will arrive from the 19th century to the 2nd century. Kroker characterizes the present age as the age of “a passive resentment and a suicidal will to nothingness," and “the age of the storm of nihilism.” Moreover, according to Kroker, in the age of completed nihilism (hyper-nihilism) of “late modernity” in which we live, the economy, politics and even religion have undergone fundamental transformation; in our daily life “fundamental attunement (= profound boredom)” prevails. To properly illuminate the “logic which rules the culture and society” in the present age, where “the will to technology” reaches its summit, Kroker turns to Heidegger to examine the relationship between technology and (hyper-) nihilism. While the sum of Kroker’s insights into Heidegger’s philosophy of technology falls outside the scope of the present set of papers, I will focus on four specific points. First, I consider the metaphysics of Heidegger’s philosophy of technology (in particularly, the “Bremen” lecture (1949) delivered soon after World War II, the lecture titled “Building Dwelling Thinking (Bauen Whonen Denken)” (1951) at the Darmstadt Conference, and The Question Concerning Technology (Die Frage nach der Techinik (1953)). In doing so, I primarily focus on the question of Heidegger’s war responsibility and post-war responsibility that concerns his entire philosophy. I argue that Heidegger’s philosophy of technology is not only related to the political aspect in his philosophy, but is also based on an “antihumanistic inhumanism.” In that sense, I argue, it is problematic to criticize his philosophy from the viewpoint of “humanism.” As is well-known, Heidegger suggested the possibility of overcoming “humanism” in his Über den Humanismus (Letter on Humanism) (1946). As Kroker points out, Heidegger’s philosophy showed signs of the idea of the “post human.” It is therefore necessary to shift the ground of the discussion from the viewpoint of “humanism” to that of “post-humanism” in order to examine Heidegger's own war responsibility and post-war responsibility. Second, I re-read Heidegger’s “philosophy of technology” in the context of contemporary philosophies of technology. While contemporary philosophies or ethics of technologies seems to be based on anti-humanistic and non-humanistic post-human thought superficially, it is not as anti-humanistic as Heidegger’s “philosophy of technology,” and is not even non-humanistic. For example, Peter-Paul Verbeek, a contemporary philosopher of technology, discusses the ethics of technology in Moralizing Technology: Understanding and Designing the Morality of Things (2011), and argues for a “moralization of technology.” While he claims that his position is beyond humanism, I argue that this is not the case, and Verbeek’s work is an extension of anti-humanism. I argue that his ethical position is not as radical as Heidegger’s. I also examine Don Ihde’s philosophy of technology, which arrives at a post-phenomenological position through a critical reading of Husserl’s phenomenology and Heidegger’s philosophy of technology, and influences Verbeek’s ethics of technologyThird, I consider the problematic of “posthuman” thought in Heidegger’s philosophy of technology. In this context, I examine Peter Sloterdijk's Rules for the Human Zoo: a response to the Letter on Humanism (1999). According to Verbeek, Sloterdijk holds a position of “postphenomenology,” in which the post-human point of view is missing. However, I think the problem raised by Verbeek is not limited only to the postphenomenological position, but rather is nothing but the problem of posthumanism held by Heidegger's philosophy. As Kroker points out, the posthuman problematic is potentially included in Heidegger’s metaphysical thinking of Technology. In this sense, it is necessary to consider Heidegger’s philosophy of technology in order to confirm the validity of Sloterdijk’s point of view. Moreover, the essence of Heidegger's "post-human" philosophy of beyond humanism is non-human (inhuman). We need to examine Heidegger's Über den Humanismus to verify the validity of Sloterdijk’s criticism of Heidegger. Fourth, while Heidegger’s anti-human “post-human” thinking is nonhuman, it is preparing Verbeek’s optimism of “moralizing technology” in a sense. It is considered that the danger of moralization of technology also possibly exists in the future. In my opinion, the moralization of technology not only bears a mutual relationship with the politicization of technology, but also presents the danger that morality may be eroded by the political. Moreover, it should be noted that technology and the technological may possibly intervene between the ethical and the political. As Heidegger also pointed out, technology and politics are closely related, and technology itself is political. In the context of these questions, the current series of papers will address the links among the moralization of technology, the politicization of technology, as well as the aestheticization of technology. As Walter Benjamin already pointed out, the aestheticization of politics and the politicization of aesthetics arise from the same roots. Based on the dual meanings of the word technē in Greek, Heidegger interprets the German Kunst as technology on the one hand, and as art on the other hand. This inevitably results from the fact that, just as the Greek technē is inseparable from the Greek poiēsis, the German Technik (technique or technology) is inseparable from Kunst (art or technology). I argue that, though Heidegger aims to overcome hyper-nihilism through Kunst as art, it is possible that Kunst as technology will strengthen rather than overcome hyper-nihilism. This is because Kunst as technology and as art includes the possibility of generating hyper-nihilism by evoking the inseparable relationship between the aestheticization of technology and the politicization of technology. In the first paper in the series, I will focus on the first and second issues. Particularly, I first confirm the historical background that Heidegger's philosophy of technology was conceived. What is interesting to me is that Heidegger gave lectures on technology (Technik or Kunst) at some organizations deeply related to arts and crafts. For Heidegger, the problem of technology (Technik or Kunst) is closely related to the place where it is told.