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TitleBlumenberg: against the demonization of technology
Author(s)Sylla, Bernhard
Issue date2019
CitationSylla, Bernhard (2019). Blumenberg: Against the Demonization of Technology. In J. Ribeiro Mendes & B. Sylla (orgs.), Tecnofilosofia líquida: Anders, Blumenberg e Sloterdijk (pp. 102-114). Braga: Centro de Ética, Política e Sociedade
Abstract(s)[Excerpt] I want to propose that Blumenberg’s work on technology be read as an expression of deep skepticism against any kind of unilateralism. The term uniliteralism can be understood here as denoting a basic feature of a worldview that has not yet given up hope of arriving at ultimate foundations and which – and I would like to focus on this aspect the most – makes the further mistake of suppressing the opposing side in any dialectic in order to preserve its own side and establish a firm support for further interpretation. This suppression of the opposing side also means that any sort of relationality between the two sides is either entirely effaced or it is expressed in a confused, attenuated form. This relationality and its qualities, i.e. relational properties (or, in Cassirer’s terminology: functional terms and functional properties instead of substance terms and substance properties), is thereby rendered inadmissibly fragmented or even completely ignored, leading to a false dogmatism. To look at things from only one side is blindness. In the philosophy of technology, one form of blindness is the hasty condemnation of the evil specter of technology (Heidegger, Anders, Blumenberg himself in his early writings). But an unreflective technophilia would also be narrow or blind (Kapp, Dessauer, the common-sense belief in the Idea of Progress). When it comes to the topic of technology, Blumenberg is concerned not only with understanding the grounds for a proper attitude or response towards technology but also with understanding technology itself as an actual phenomenon. A similar picture emerges here, even though the conceptual structure naturally shifts. For here too I take Blumenberg’s conviction about the need to overcome unilateralism and recognize bi- or plurilateralism to be an indispensable condition for an understanding of the phenomenon of technology, for a mature understanding that would be able to shed light on the network of complex relations involved in the phenomenon of technology. In various texts Blumenberg goes so far as to call this the task of philosophy (ST 18, 193/94, 202). [...]
TypeBook part
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CEPS - Publicações dos investigadores do CEPS

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