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History, Metaphors, FablesA Hans Blumenberg Reader$
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Hans Blumenberg

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501732829

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501732829.001.0001

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The Relationship between Nature and Technology as a Philosophical Problem

The Relationship between Nature and Technology as a Philosophical Problem


(p.301) 12 The Relationship between Nature and Technology as a Philosophical Problem
History, Metaphors, Fables

Hans Blumenberg

Cornell University Press

This chapter reflects on Hans Blumenberg's “The Relationship between Nature and Technology as a Philosophical Problem” (1951), a reception history of technē. Technology has historically constituted itself as applied natural science — as a constructive extension of nature — and this structural continuity would seem to determine the character and methodology of its problems once and for all. The historical reality of human life with technology has failed to confirm this basic assumption, however. Technology, as an objective domain within the modern world, has more and more visibly separated itself from its functional continuity with nature and has entered into new constellations that are sui generis and, indeed, diametrical opposites to natural reality. From the mere use of nature for eking out a living through to the increasing exploitation of nature as a reservoir of energy and natural resources, the development of technical consciousness and the technical will tend toward making a claim for the radical and total transformation of nature as mere materia prima for the exercise of human power.

Keywords:   Hans Blumenberg, technology, technē, applied natural science, nature, natural reality, technical consciousness, technical will, human power

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