“Hope will die at last”: an interview with Wolfgang Schirmacher

Keywords: phenomenology, technology, Heidegger, ethics, cloning

Abstract

To Wolfgang Schirmacher philosophy is about reading in the spirit of, so that we may follow the logic of the phenomenon that shows itself to us. It is in this spirit of phenomenology Schirmacher asks whether Martin Heidegger's diagnosis of our age – that we live under a Gestell, or fix, of technology – is sufficient. Should we not consider the supplementary notion of technology as an event (Ereignis) of becoming into our own existence? We have an inborn character that is unassailable and yet unknown to us until the day we perish, and from such an ethical perspective – and in distinction to deontological views – Schirmacher rejects science's promise never to clone humans. He regards such a declaration as “only valid until it’s possible.” Rather, he regards our future as one in which humans will be allowed to procreate for as long as it doesn't interfere unambiguously with the functioning of the machines, “and during that interim the poor humans living there will still have hope.”

Author Biographies

Torgeir Fjeld, Ereignis Center for Philosophy and the Arts

Dr. Torgeir Fjeld is editor-in-chief of Inscriptions and Head of the Ereignis Center for Philosophy and the Arts. He has taught at universities in the UK, USA, Norway, Poland and South Africa, and is the author of Rock Philosophy (forthcoming on Vernon Press), Perversion's Beyond and dressage and illusio. Fjeld studies temporality, films, and releasement.

Wolfgang Schirmacher, European Graduate School

Wolfgang Schirmacher is Professor at the European Graduate School, Switzerland and Malta, where he 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.

References

Agamben,Giorgio. Homo sacer. Turin: 1995.

Daodejing (Tao-te Ching). The Sacred Books of China. Trans. James Legge. New York: 1891.

Gadamer, Hans-Georg. Warheit und Methode (Truth and Method). Tubingen: 1960.

Heidegger, Martin and Eugen Fink. The Heraclitus Seminar. Trans. Charles H. Seibert. Frankfurt am Main/Evanston, Ill.: 1970/1997.

Marcuse, Herbert. "Hegel's Ontologie und die Grundlegung einer Theorie der Geschichtlichkeit" (Hegel's Ontology and the Theory of Historicity). PhD diss.: 1932.

Schirmacher, Wolfgang. "Ereignis Technik: Heidegger und die Frage nach der Technik" (The Event of Technology: Heidegger and the Question Concerning Technology). PhD diss.: 1980.

Schirmacher, Wolfgang. Technik und Gelassenheit (Technology and Releasement). Freiburg: 1983.

Schirmacher, Wolfgang. Ereignis Technik (The Event of Technology). Vienna: 1990.
Published
2018-07-01