09 July 2015

Capital and Technology: Marx and Heidegger

A 140 pp. paperback edition of my

Capital and Technology: Marx and Heidegger

  is now available. Here's the LINK.

To bring Heidegger and Marx together in all the radicalness of their respective thinking means endeavouring to see what light the genius of each of these philosophers throws on the respective blind spots of the other, in particular, with regard to the questions: What is technology? and What is capital? Heidegger goes in search of the essence of technology, articulating it finally in what he calls the Ge-Stell (set-up). The set-up is the historical hermeneutic constellation of being as which beings present themselves in the consummated technological age. From this determination of the essence of technology, Heidegger proceeded misleadingly to subsume Marx’s determination of the essence of capital under the paradigm of production. Marx, however, thinks through the essence of capital as the augmentative circulation of reified value, and value is a phenomenon that has to do first of all with exchange, not production. Value comes about through the interplay of mutual estimation on markets of all kinds. Following this line of thought leads ultimately to determining the essence of capital as that historical hermeneutic constellation of being in which beings present themselves ubiquitously as valuable to all the players in the gainful game, who are all striving for income of different basic kinds. The task then becomes to think through how these two constellations of being, the set-up and the gainful game, intermesh. Only in this way can today’s historical situation come clearly to light, thus providing those living through it with indispensable socio-ontological orientation.

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