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Politics and the Problem of Technology: An Essay on Heidegger and the Tradition of Political Philosophy

Jerry Weinberger
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 86, No. 1 (Mar., 1992), pp. 112-127
DOI: 10.2307/1964019
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1964019
Page Count: 16
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Politics and the Problem of Technology: An Essay on Heidegger and the Tradition of Political Philosophy
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Abstract

I examine Heidegger's postmodern interpretation of technology, with an eye to exposing its weaknesses. I do this by showing that his view entails an understanding of the tradition of political philosophy that cannot do justice to that tradition's own understanding of the character of technology. I consider first Plato and Aristotle and then Hobbes and Locke in order to suggest that Heidegger's view that modern politics are stamped by technological metaphysics can be challenged on two related grounds: (1) it assumes incorrectly that the tradition is dominated by dogmatic metaphysics; (2) it prevents us from seeing how some in the tradition both understood and doubted the possibility of a technological stamp. I then suggest an alternative view of technology that might account better for the character of technology and political life.

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