Heidegger on Technics, Power, and the Planetary

Krzysztof Ziarek (Professor and Chair, Department of Comparative Literature, University at Buffalo)


This paper will look at Heidegger’s reflections on the essence of technology in the context of his remarks on power and planetarism. Heidegger’s approach to the essence of technology is often misunderstood as a “critique” of technology. In fact, Heidegger makes it explicit that the essence of technology (Technik) is nothing technological (it is not technology, techno-science, production, or technological products) but instead a modality of revealing characteristic of the modern, increasingly globalized, world. That is why, as the paper will show, Heidegger on technology cannot be understood apart from the question of the alternative, poietic revealing. Technology in Heidegger needs to be thought in tandem with the poietic, just as calculative thought has to be juxtaposed with poetic thinking. Though Heidegger’s writings date from half a century ago, since (what he calls) the technic revealing only keeps intensifying, the exigency of the poetic becomes all the more apparent.


E-mail: kziarek@buffalo.edu