The more we transform the world and ourselves, the more the world becomes strange for us and the more we experience ourselves as aliens in that world. In spite of an ever faster technological progress – we now witness already the third industrial revolution in a few centuries time – the promised paradise has still not yet arrived. On the contrary, a lot of people experience a feeling of uneasiness about our technological being-in-the-world. It seems as if we have lost something important, something that has to keep the progress of technology balanced.
So we can ask ourselves: what is this phenomenon of modern technology? Traditionally people hold that technology is the human way of acting on brute and endangering nature to secure a safe and comfortable existence. People create instruments and techniques which enable them to improve their standard of living. In technology studies this is known as the neutral and instrumentalist view on technology. But reality seems to refute this view on technology, since not all achievements of modern technology turn out to be beneficial for humanity. The destructive effects of this technology seem to increase in proportion to its productive forces. So technology possesses at least a partial dynamic of its own. With other words: man is not fully in command of the development of technology.
So the instrumentalist view on technology doesn’t seem to stand the test of reality. Therefore, we propose to reject the technology – nature dualism and the picture of technology as an external and instrumental acting of rationality on wild and brute nature. Instead, we want to see technology as a way of being in nature. Man is not in nature in the way animals are in nature. He is able to transcend the hic et nunc of an immediate
existence, he can re-flect on things. In this sense, man is always and necessary alienated from nature. As such he gains understanding of reality, although this understanding is also laid...