Technika jako zjawisko historyczne w myśli Karola Marksa, Edmunda Husserla i Martina Heideggera

Jędrzej Maliński


Technology as a Historical Phenomenon in the Thought of Karl Marx, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger

The rise of modernity, understood as a socio-economical structure, is undoubtedly connected with development of science and technology. In this paper I analyze this relation. For that purpose I refer to the first volume of Capital by Karl Marx, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Philosophy by Edmund Husserl, and The Question Concerning Technology by Martin Heidegger. According to Marx, the technological development is the progress of means of production – therefore it was a historical law. The transition between feudal and capitalist society was, however, a qualitative change. The domination of the owners of the means of production was sustained by the physical presence of workers in factories. Marx hoped that development of technology would allow the proletarian revolution and would change the ownership of means of production. Husserl, in turn, sees his contemporary technology as the result of the mathematization of knowledge by modern science. According to him, it was one of the possible ways of alienation from the lifeworld (the Lebenswelt) – ways of losing grasp of things themselves. Return to them could be a mean of overcoming the contemporary sciences’ atrophy of sensing the given, which could be provided by phenomenology, the science basic for a new epistemological order. Heidegger, finally, acknowledges that the essence of technology – the enframing (the Gestell), which could be understood as the way of emergence of being only as a resource – was earlier than mathematical natural science. He also, like Husserl, perceives dangers in hegemony of technology. As the solution he proposes the releasement (the Gelassenheit) and the recognition of the ways of being other than those technical ones.
In the conclusion, I consider a dialectic interpretation of the aforementioned concepts. Husserl tries to correct the scientific (and materialist) way of thinking about the world represented by Marx; Heidegger, in turn, overcomes Husserl by acknowledging that technology is more than a result of the mathematization of cognition and, by making the category of technology primary, returns to an earlier material dimension of this concept. The analysis of this problem will allow us to understand better the genesis of modernity and show the historical aspect of the thought of the philosophers who – like Husserl and Heidegger - were not essentially connected with the philosophy of history.

Keywords: technology, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Karl Marx, science, machine, the essence of technology.

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