The Technological Appropriation of Time

Date

2023-05-16

Authors

Freeman, Cole Marok

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Abstract

According to Martin Heidegger, the essence of modern technology (ge-stell) is a way of revealing beings through a challenging-forth—that is, by having humans engage with nature in a reductive, technologically-mediated way. This thesis builds on this phenomenological understanding of being by extending the concept of the “challenging-forth” to include time and temporality. A close inspection shows that technology is predicated upon denying the amount of time taken to enact the challenging-forth in production. Technological logic reproduces itself through each instantiation of the challenging-forth, and this is what constitutes progress. In our age, technological logic is universal, meaning that it is true for all beings. Technology’s totalitarian reach reduces everything that the human can say, think, and do into a technological purview. This is what I seek to investigate in asking the following research question: How does technology reproduce itself through the human? This question, among others, constitutes the thrust of this thesis, which suggests that technology enforces a primordial way-to-be for the human, characterized by the manner of continuous running along, busyness, and the heightened concern for time. Technology brings us into close relations with time such that our temporality is structured in concert with gadgetry and other means, which has noteworthy consequences for the phenomenological experience of everyday life. Our concern with time is the residue of a technological logic that has enveloped the human—we have inherited this obsession in virtue of our thrownness into this age. Finally, this thesis poses the question: how can we let time be? We must disembark from technologically mediated concerns by learning how to let go of our obsession with time. The significance of this thesis is twofold. First, because it offers an initial, novel extension to Heidegger’s phenomenology; second, this analysis forces the attentive reader to slow down and observe the patterns of technology unfolding all around them. The multi-pronged approach of this thesis will serve as a benchmark for coming to grips with the bustling pace of life in the technological age.

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Keywords

technology, temporality, challenging-forth, revealing, nature, time, anti-humanism, letting-be, everyday life

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