Heidegger And the Question Concerning Technology

After you’ve read Hiedegger’s Question Concerning Technology,

Heidegger believes we must understand the essence of technology in order to head down the right path of progress


think carefully and react to the questions/quotes below:


1. Why talk about the silver chalice?  What does that have to do with technology?

2.  Heidegger states, “what has the essence of technology to do with revealing? The answer–Everything.” What does he mean by this?

3.  Heidegger writes, “we are questioning concerning technology in order to bring to light our relationship to its essence.”  What is our current relationship to the essence of technology? What is YOUR current relationship to the essence of technology? 

4.  Heidegger writes, “What is dangerous is not technology…but rather there is the mystery of its essence. The essence of technology, as a destining of revealing, is the danger.”  This is a KEY sentence to understanding his whole essay and approach. What does he mean by this?  What is the essence of technology as you understand it?

5.  Consider a piece of culture…Her for example, or Fight Club, or even another work of literature/philosophy…Thoreau’s Walden comes to mind…how does the creator of that cultural artifact view the essence of technology? What is their point of view?

Heidegger states that, “man is uprooted” by technology… and that if man fails to understand and grapple with the essence of technicity than man will be separated from man’s true essence due to technology enframing our future.

While reading for IB psych, i came across this statement on depression in the New York Times, Yet there is reason to believe that mental illness is indeed increasing around the world, if only because urbanization is increasing. By 2010, for the first time in history, more than half the world’s population lived in cities.” 

I couldn’t help but think of Heidegger.  It’s a very strange and intriguing correlation indeed…the author of the NY times article cited above, Stanford Professor Dr. T.M. Luhrmann, implies a correlation between urbanization and mental illness. Urbanization necessitates separation from the earth and in my estimation that separation is exactly what Heidegger is discussing in, A question concerning technology. The phenomenon and correlation described by Ms. Luhrmann is exactly what he predicted. 

In fact my TOK people, read this article and lets discuss the connections between the information contained within and Heidegger’s Question Concerning Technology.


Understanding Ethics In Research

Psychology is a science.  It utilizes the following research methods in order to formulate, test, and refine hypotheses regarding human behavior:

  • case study
  • naturalistic observation
  • survey
  • correlational study
  • Experiment

In all the above, Psychological researchers are guided by the Ethics put forth by the American Psychological Association (APA) . These requirements are:

  1. Informed consent.  Participants must be informed about the nature of the research as well as be informed of the results at the conclusion of the study. After being informed about the nature of the research, the participants must CONSENT to participate in the study
  2. Right to Withdraw. Participants have the right to withdraw from the study as well as withdraw their results at any time.
  3. Protection of Participants.  Participants cannot be caused distress or harm.
  4. Cannot DECEIVE the participants. Some deception may be necessary, but it should be minimal.
  5. Confidentiality. The participants names must be held confidential and may not be publicized in any way until after death.

ONe of the principles of psychology is that there are correlates between animal behavior and human behavior. Thus, animals are often used to inform psychological research. There are ethical guidelines for animals treatment as well:

“The acquisition, care, housing, use, and disposition of nonhuman animals in research must be in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local, laws and regulations, institutional policies, and with international conventions to which the United States is a party. APA members working outside the United States must also follow all applicable laws and regulations of the country in which they conduct research.”

Read the following article on the controversial use of Monkeys in Animal Research at the University of Wisconsin Madison: