Blog Post #2

Prompt 6: Isn’t this whole thing of Heidegger’s missing a discussion of politics? Of economics? Of material history? For example, he locates the beginning of modern technology in the 18th century and modern physics in the 17th. And, then claims that Enframing pre-exists modern physics. OK. So, is this Enframing present in other human endeavors, like say, modern, racialized slavery or the origins of capitalism? If Enframing is a challenge to bring about a kind of ordering of everything in terms of standing reserve, don’t we need some kind of analysis of its origins (and instantiation in forms like racialized slavery) that accounts for this history?

In Heidegger’s The Question Concerning Technology he points out the ways in which human beings connect themselves to technology, so much so that many times we end up thinking of ourselves as indistinguishable from it, which he states is partly the case. However, it is with certain definitions of thought surrounding technology that he begins to break this down as a fundamental and objective thinking. For example, standing reserve. In standing reserve, Heidegger draws the notion that human beings are instrumental to the instruments we have created and roughly refer to as technology. It is with this idea that his arguments surrounding technology are given their basis. Furthermore, he gives examples of where these objects lose their usefulness without the ordering of humans such as an airplane on a runway. The use of the idea of enframing induces the idea that the standing reserve hold revelation to its nature. His thought process regarding how we configure and organize technology is predicated on the concept of enframing and its essence in the modern day. The ordering aspect of enframing is thought of in only certain aspects of “technology” by Heidegger, it seems. The real-world applications of ordering in technology are extremely vast, and it seems that there may be certain lenses that Heidegger has not considered. In economics, ordering can be applied as well but with specific socio-economic implications how these facets operate can vary. In the example of racialized slavery, the standing reserve or the parts that are constituent parts of the overall goal or duty are quite literally the same as the source of ordering. The instantiation of which we can think about ordering the orderable is given with the context that the derivation of ordering is a separate entity from that which is being ordered, with racialized slavery this is not the case. In racialized slavery, the order or rank that is set upon the ordering of the means is held to be fundamental to the existence of race, which markedly is embedded in the popularity of Darwinian race theory during the times of racialized slavery in the United States.

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