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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
As a long time student (and fan) of the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, it is not altogether surprising that my first Kindle purchase was the text here under review. Maybe I was amused by the irony of engaging this heralded thinker's thought on technology by way of the very modern technology he contemplated but, I must admit that the juxtaposition of the two titular themes, i.e., the gods and technology, sealed the deal. Heidegger's critique of modern technology is fairly well known amongst the various circles of literati, howerver, Richard Rojcewicz's insightful reading has retrieved the topic from a mid-20th century existential denunciation of mass culture and allowed it to disclose itself from within Heidegger's fundamental contemplation of Being albeit as a mystery. Rojcewicz serves as a guide like Virgil leading us through the labyrinth of this philosopher's written testament. The introduction sets the itinerary of the journey we are about to take discarding any notions that this is a humanistic philosophy which itself would be tantamount to chauvinistic hubris and " a challenging of the gods. . ." Modernity has succumbed to a falling away from the great original outlook confronting the earliest philosophers upto the illustrious Plato. But the archaic beginning has itself forsaken humans not the other way around, that is, says Rojcewicz the god's have absconded from us. They are the so-called prime movers of metaphysics not man. It is crucial to note that in a less metaphorical manner of speech, the author identifies these gods with Being itself and raises the skein which will lead us through the many dark subterranean passages of Heidegger's thought. We are shown the various corridors explored by Heidegger in the works of Plato and Aristotle distinguishing the ancient and modern forms of technology whereby the former is revealed in its pious allowing of things to come forward out of nature while the latter imposes its hubristic ends upon the objects of nature. Ultimately we are brought to see that both of these great classical writers tended to associate techne with theoretical or epistemic wisdom as opposed to practical (phronesis) goals of production. The light at the end of the tunnel is the ancient's recognition of technological practice as poiesis where the lines are blurred between natural and man-made production which re-opens the pious nature of man and entities encountered in the world. This opening or as I refer to it re-opening is accomplished by detachment (Gelassenheit) as a denial of calculative thinking's claim to exclusivity as manifested in modern technology. However, the mystery remains even in the light of this realization inasmuch as that which shows itself also withdraws. The scholarship and synthetic vision exercised in this work leads the reader through the depths without imposing bondage but rather requiring one to engage in personal reflection upon these god's who have themselves withdrawn as we gaze upon them.
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