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Technology and Nihilism: Intro

Updated: Jan 18

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This is my first in a series devoted to the ways in which technology and nihilism have been understood and intertwined in the Western philosophical tradition. It turns out that what's at issue is something much deeper than simply the historical emergence of these things we call 'technology' and 'nihilism,' taking us to the very core of what is meant by philosophy itself. Beginning with two of the greatest thinkers on the subject closest to us, we see this from the writings of Martin Heidegger and Ernst Jünger. In this discussion I give a broad survey of the topic by introducing everything that comes tumbling out when one closely examines the texts that emerged from the correspondence between Heidegger and Ernst Jünge, with particular emphasis upon the all-important image of the forest for both in understanding what is even meant by the words 'technology,' 'nihilism,' and, rather surprisingly, 'history' as philosophical concepts. That said, I want to emphasize that everything I'm describing here and presenting in the discussion will receive much more clarification in the subsequent discussions of this series which, in many ways, can be understood as the most relevant lens through which one understands the entire tradition of Western Philosophy.

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