Standing-Reserve According to Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) was a German philosopher that argues in “The Question Concerning Technology," the essence of technology; especially that modern technology is essentially dangerous. He believes that modern technology forces us to misunderstand the world around us, including ourselves. As a result, modern technology takes away essential purposes such as freedom. This freedom revolves around man’s self-knowledge and truth. Specifically, I will introduce and discuss Heidegger’s argument of modern technology “standing-reserve”. By this, technology is ready to be controlled by humans. In the mean time, this unused technology is thought of as being “on call” until there is a need for its further order.
Heidegger argues that there is a difference between prior technology and our modern sphere of technology. He states that modern technology does not bring forth as it once did; rather, it is a challenge to nature and treats everything as a standing-reserve. By this, he means that everything is ordered to stand by until needed. First, Heidegger uses the reference of an airliner to represent his argument on objects standing-reserve. Heidegger states,
Yet an airliner that stands on the runway is surely an object. Certainly. We can represent the machine so. But then it conceals itself as to what and how it is. Revealed, it stands on the taxi strip only as standing-reserve, inasmuch as it is ordered to ensure the possibility of transportation. (p. 105)
In this example, Heidegger is explaining that the airplane is only used as an instrument or a means to an end (a way of getting things accomplished). It is stored around for our own use when ...
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...fferent way creating a new mean of definition in each. We become so emerged in technology and the instrumentality of it, that we forget the way our world used to be. Heidegger uses the many examples of modern technology of the airliner, Rhine River and human kind as standing reserve, ready for human command at anytime. Although, he explains the old world of technology examples of the Rhine River and the forest, which once stood as a part of nature. Now the river is dammed supplying power and the forest is being used for the paper industry under the command of humans. Not under this command, the things controlled remain as Heidegger says, standing-reserve, on call for human demand and benefit.
Heidegger, M. (2009). The question concerning technology. In C. Hanks, Technology and its Value (pp. 99-113). Malden: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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