Heidegger and Quantum Mechanics


Most people likely don’t connect Heideggarian philosophy with quantum physics…but you’re going to! 

Watch the trailer for the film, “The Quantum Activist” below. In it, physicist Amit Goswami is discussing implications of quantum scientific concepts.

Your task is to write your Second Journal entry on the following prompt: 

How are Heidegger and Goswami’s ideas related? Discuss the connection between Heideggarian philosophy and quantum physics.

To help you better understand Heidegger, read the NY times column below:



Heidegger and “the thing”

Martin Heidegger is considered by many who opine on such things to be one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Certainly one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century.  The difficulty in comprehending his work often equals it’s greatness.

With the fact that this work is difficult, i want you to read his famous lecture, “The Thing” linked below. It is hard. but PLEASE do NOT engage in a self defeating prophecy!  It is hard but YOU ARE SMART!!! You can do this. Go slow. Highlight. Summarize in your mind as you finish each paragraph. BE OK WITH NOT UNDERSTANDING because as you move through the essay, it will start to come together. Then when you’re finished, you can say, “I just read Heidegger and I get it.” 

The Thing

Heidegger vs. Reductionism

Martin Heidegger is considered by many to be the greatest philosopher of the 20th century and is a personal favorite of mine! 

His work centers around existentialism, and specifically, phenomenology, an area of philosophy.  We’ll read Heidegger as we progress through the course, however reading the article below and engaging in a reflective journal entry will aide greatly in your ability to comprehend his works as they’re incredibly difficult.

So.  Read the article linked below contrasting the Heideggarian view of the world with a scientific approach (often called reductionism in philosophy). 

Being There: Martin Heidegger on Why our Presence Matters

Journal Entry:

  1. Relate this article to what we’ve been discussing in class over the course of this semester. Integrate source material that we’ve read and discussed as well as the various Ways of Knowing into you response. Additionally, reflect on the article. What are the implications?  What are the implications of reductionism?

TOK Journal Collect #2: Your Thoughts Needed on the following…

Think hard!

#6…..What is Truth?  Is truth possible? Lastly, does it even matter if something is true or not?

#5….Consider a piece of culture…the movie 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?

#4….Kant famously wrote “I had to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith”? Unpack and discuss this statement in a TOK way!!

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.