Living in the event of technology


  • Wolfgang Schirmacher European Graduate School


Heidegger, phenomenology, philosophy of technology, event, instrumentalism


In this essay Wolfgang Schirmacher argues for an approach that perceives technology as an event, as a happening that is concealed and yet obvious. His position can be distinguished in two ways. To Schirmacher our present understanding is governed by the bias that technology is a means to an end, what Martin Heidegger referred to as Gestell, or (technological) enframing. In Schirmacher’s view such a craft or tool-oriented approach is upheld by a technological-scientific world-view that is characterised by its “mad attempt to deny the world in which we live.” On the other hand Schirmacher goes beyond Heidegger’s view by claiming that technology should be perceived as an event rather than as simply a frame. In this manner we are enabled to grasp the technological phenomenon as a cosmic relation manifest in our lived experience.

Author Biography

Wolfgang Schirmacher, European Graduate School

A professor at the European Graduate School, Switzerland and Malta, Schirmacher founded the Philosophy Programme in 1998. He has previously taught at the New School for Social Research, and at the Polytechnic University in New York. He is President of the Internationale Schopenhauer-Vereinigung — Forum für offenes Philosophieren. Writing in the tradition of Nietzsche and Heidegger Schirmacher relies on the notion of Homo generator and specific life techniques to give an affirmative interpretation of artificial life. His main areas of philosophy is media, technology and the art of living.






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