Releasement toward things by Heidegger

Prompt What does Heidegger mean by "releasement toward things," and how may his ideas be applied in a modern context?

In the text, releasement toward objects is a technological idea that integrates components from both sides of the previously contrasted modalities of relation. Taking nature into consideration, the "wood is a forest of lumber" is already to be open to a world taken as a standing-reserve, but this is a required but not sufficient condition. The addition of conceptually and methodically putting "nature" into a calculative and universal perspective of nature as standing-reserve is what makes it sufficient. But this is the metaphysics of what may be characterized as a scientific or theoretically organized technology and that of any hardworking technology (Parkes 16).

Heidegger ensured that the science latent within presence-at-hand, in contemporary technological science, has become an existentialist science. That is why it can be thought of as effecting humanity in its essence. I shall not speculate concerning how this might be the case in contemporary genetic engineering, however tempting such an excursus might be, but it is in such examples that one might see how humanity itself becomes standing-reserve in the Heideggerian sense(Tsigkas 67). Technology, then, becomes the combined powers of what was earlier both readiness-to-hand and presence-at-hand.

With Heidegger, we are not only to reflect on the nature of questioning, but on the meaning of thinking, of thought itself, language, and indeed the embodied mortality of the inquirer. In opposition to calculative thinking, Heidegger opposed sense-directed reflection for embodied, mortal beings such as ourselves. It is this sensitively, an incarnate reflection that Heidegger contrasts as properly philosophical or indeed poetical thought to the rational, calculative (and effectively unquestioning because solution informed and answer-driven) project of Western technologically articulated and advancing science (Parkes 16).

Technology (capitalized) into a ‘‘metaphysics'' that it becomes possible for Heidegger to claim that science itself is subsumed into Technology: ‘Technology is, therefore, no mere means. Technology is a way of revealing. Technology is a mode of showing. Technology is unveiled in the realm where revealing and concealment take place, truth, happens.’’ But this end of metaphysics is simultaneously the transcendental zing of Technology and its characterization ‘‘Enframing,’’ ‘‘Standing-Reserve,’’ and the reduction of the whole of nature under it’s ‘‘challenge.’’

Heidegger's thin understanding of the history of technology was evidenced by an expression of his opinion. Mining and whatever mode of revealing it belong to go back to prehistoric times; by Roman times the lead levels had risen almost to new heights; and while the old windmill may not take the wind for granted as the power source, the old sawmill that dams the stream does. But there is a worse result from elevating Technology into a metaphysics as well: It dooms Heidegger's analyses of technology to be the same for every technology. Taking nature, the earth, as unframed standing-reserve leads one can say logically to his later claims in the interviews that the Holocaust and modern agriculture are equivalent.

Heidegger contends one can detect a kind of paraxial knowledge that is distinct from what we ordinarily think of as theoretical knowledge. A simply predicative knowledge of things described by properties misses this stratum, ‘‘no matter how sharply we just look at the ‘outward appearance’ of Things in whatever form this takes, we cannot discover anything ready-to-hand’ ’Contrarily, it is only in use that the distinctive characteristics of the ready-to-hand emerge. ‘‘When we deal with them by using them and manipulating them, this activity is not a blind one; it has its kind of sight, by which our manipulation is guided and from which it acquires its specific Tingly character''.

The tool in use appears not as an object to be seen, but recedes or withdraws. The peculiarity of what is proximally ready-to-hand is that, in its readiness-to-hand, it must, as it were, withdraw to be ready-to-hand quite authentically. That with which our everyday dealings proximally dwell is not the tools themselves. On the contrary, that with which we concern ourselves primarily is the work. Here is an essential insight concerning the ready-to-hand. The entity in praxical use ‘‘withdraws’’ or is taken into a manifestation that is partially transparent.’’ This is one reason why the ready-to-hand may be so easily overlooked and also a reason for the inappropriateness of a predicate analysis.

Heidegger argues that the mode of relationship, which is theoretical, the present-at-hand, cannot discover either equipment or an equip mental context. One does not uncover the paraxial at all by adding predicates to an object. A ‘‘tool’’ is not a bare physical entity to which one may add ‘‘values’’; neither is its serviceability or usability seen by a bare perceptual cognition. Thus, the negative turn functions, in part, to short-circuit the temptation to give an account of the ready-to-hand regarding a theoretical metaphysics. Regarding equipment, ‘‘we discover its usability, however, not by looking at it and establishing its properties, but rather by the circumspection of the dealings in which we use it’’.

The purpose of the analysis is to get in the world that belongs to the ready-to-hand, and the inversion is but one step along the way. What equipment negativity ultimately reveals is the latent context to which it belongs, the ‘‘world'' inhabited by concern. When an assignment has been disturbed when something is unusable for some purpose, then the assignment becomes explicit. When an assignment to some particular ‘‘towards this'' has been thus circumspectly aroused, we catch sight of the ‘‘towards this'' itself, and along with it everything connected with the work the whole workshop as that wherein concern always dwells.

The common view of technology, related to what Heidegger calls the instrumental and anthropological view, holds that modern technology is a child of modern science. Technology is a mere tool of science or, at best, an applied science (20). Heidegger says inverts this view and claims that modern science is essentially the child of technology. The strategy by which he seeks to show this is a reflection of the same functional inversion employed in Being and Time. This inversion of science and technology calls for careful examination. There are two correlated ideas that appear at the beginning of the strategy which bears initial note. First, Heidegger grants that the contemporary dominant view of technology seeks to strongly differentiate between scientific technology and the older handwork technology.

It is said that modern technology is something incomparably different from all earlier technologies because it is based on modern physics as an exact science. Meanwhile, we have come to understand more clearly that the reverse holds true as well: modern physics, as experimental, is dependent upon technical apparatus and progress in the building of apparatus. This is to say that modern science is embodied technologically. One might very well say that one basic difference between modern science and its ancient counterpart is precisely its increasingly technological embodiment in instruments.

But if science is embodied in instruments as a necessary condition for its investigation, this is not yet to say that technology is its origin. That is the claim Heidegger ultimately makes (37). The form the argument takes is essential that it is first necessary to view nature as a storehouse or standing-reserve toward which man's ordering behavior can be directed. This provides the condition of the possibility for a calculative modern science. Modern science’s way of representing pursues and entraps nature as a calculable coherence of forces. Modern physics is not experimental physics because it applies apparatus to the questioning of nature.

Technology, in this sense, is both the condition of the possibility of the shape of the world in the contemporary sense and the transformation of nature itself as it is taken into technology. Phenomenological, for every variant nematic condition there is a corresponding noetic condition. Thus, if the world is viewed as standing reserve, the basic way in which the world is perceived, there must also be a correlated human response (Cooper 27). That, too, takes particular shape in a technological epoch. The activities of humans in response to the world as standing-reserve are those of revealing that world's possibilities, characterized by Heidegger as ‘‘unlocking, transforming, storing, distributing, and switching about’’. The man is taken into the process of ordering: ‘precisely because man is challenged more Originally than are the energies of nature, i.e., into the process of ordering, he never is transformed into mere standing-reserve. Since man drives technology forward, he takes part in order as a way of releasing’’ (Cooper 27).

Work Cited

Parkes, Graham. Heidegger and Asian Thought. Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 2010.

Tsigkas¹, Alexander, and Evangelia Fasoula. "A Method For Design Thinking."

Tsigkas, A., & Fasoula, E. De-sign thinking or Developing Significance for Targeted Open Innovation.

Gray, Mel, and Stephen A. Webb. "Social work as art revisited." International Journal of Social Welfare 17.2 (2008): 182-193.

Stambaugh, Joan. Finitude of Being, The. SUNY Press, 1992.

Cooper, Simon. Technoculture and critical theory: in the service of the machine?. Routledge, 2003.

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