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The Danger [60–61]

observed technology directly in an objective manner, even in itself, which is to say, free from every evaluation. To be sure, this appearance is deceptive. One may hold technology for something devilish or for something godly or for something neutral, but with all these conceptions and valuations one is from the outset unwittingly in agreement that technology would be a means to an end. Technology taken as a means is placed in the hand of the human. Technology conceived as a means counts as one actuality among many other actualities. Whoever takes technology as a means, wittingly or unwittingly, in any case surely appears to evaluate it positively and to accomplish a worthy confrontation with it. In truth, however, wherever technology is taken instrumentally as a means or even as a tool, it is degraded in its essence. It is held to be some being among many other beings, while indeed being itself essences in and as technology. If on the contrary a thinking attempts to experience the essence of technology in the reigning gathering of a universal positioning, that is, in positionality thought in this manner, then, in a way, there lies in such a thinking the unspoken claim of dignifying the essence of technology. Within contemporary thinking, such a dignifying can scarcely be surpassed. The usual opinions concerning technology are by no means mentioned here in order to enumerate how they refrain from thinking or to decry that they nowhere reach into the essence of technology, or even to contradict them as false judgments. All this opining concerning technology, presiding in many varieties and historically necessary, is mentioned now solely because in so doing it becomes clear how the dominance of the essence of technology orders into its plundering even and especially the human conceptions concerning technology.

The essential violence of technology does not first of all lie in the effect of high-frequency machines, but rather in that technology, proximally and for the most part, only presents itself to human representation technologically. The essence of technology, positionality, conducts its own disguising.

One is also relinquished to this self-disguising of positionality when, at times, one darkly gleans and clearly admits for a moment that technology has long withdrawn from mere application as a means and that, to the contrary, technology


Martin Heidegger (GA 79) Bremen and Freiburg Lectures

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