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instrumentum

Definition:
According to ancient doctrine, the essence of a thing is considered to be what the thing is. We ask the question concerning technology when we ask what it is. Everyone knows the two statements that answer our question. One says: Technology is a means to an end. The other says: Technology is a human activity. The two definitions of technology belong together. For to posit ends and procure and utilize the means to them is a human activity. The manufacture and utilization of equipment, tools, and machines, the manufactured and used things themselves, and the needs and ends that they serve, all belong to what technology is. The whole complex of these contrivances is technology. Technology itself is a contrivance, or, in Latin, an instrumentum.

NOTE TRANSLATOR: Instrumentum signifies that which functions to heap or build up or to arrange. Heidegger here equates it with the noun Einrichtung, translated "contrivance," which can also mean arrangement, adjustment, furnishing, or equipment. In accordance with his dictum that the true must be sought by way of the correct, Heidegger here anticipates with his identification of technology as an instrumentum and an Einrichtung his later "true" characterization of technology in terms of setting-in-place, ordering, Enframing, and standing-reserve. [GA7 QCT, p 5]

Submitted on 17.07.2019 17:58
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