Coming to Terms with Technoscience: The Heideggerian Way
Heidegger’s oeuvre (> 100 volumes) contains a plethora of comments on contemporary science, or rather technoscience because, according to Heidegger, science is inherently technical. What insights can be derived from such comments for philosophers questioning technoscience as it is practiced today? Can Heidegger’s thoughts become a source of inspiration for contemporary scholars who are confronted with automated sequencing machines, magnetic resonance imaging machines and other technoscientific contrivances? This is closely related to the question of method, I will argue. Although Heidegger himself was notoriously ambivalent when it came to method, especially in his later writings, his oeuvre nonetheless contains important hints for how a philosophical questioning of technoscience could be practiced, such as: paying attention to language (to the words that we use) or taking a step backwards (towards the moment of commencement of the type of rationality at work). For Heidegger, method means: being underway, and a philosophical method must be developed along the way. After discussing Heidegger’s views on method, both in his earlier and in his later writings, three dimensions of contemporary technoscience will be addressed, namely: technoscientific objects (research artefacts), technoscientific sites (laboratories as unworldly environments) and technoscience as a global enterprise. In the final section, the question will be addressed whether and how a critical encounter between philosophy and technoscience is possible.