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Heidegger on Technology and Dwelling

Lecturer: Andrew Benjamin

Originally Taught: Evening Sem 2 2021

The organizing thread of this course is that any account of human being, especially one that insists on relationality, has to assume the primacy of being-in-common and being-in-place. This course, which will serve equally as an introduction to the work of the later Heidegger, will expand on and analyze these assumptions. In the end there will need to be a critique of commonality and place. Both are too abstract and thus none is able to identify the original complexity that is constitutive of relationality. Both commonality and place therefore have to be rethought. That project cannot escape the question of the role of technology in that rethinking.

This course will consist of a systematic study of two texts by Heidegger: Building, Dwelling, Thinking (1951) and The Question Concerning Technology (1953). In practical terms this will involve a line by line study of each text.

The course itself will not assume any background knowledge of Heidegger’s work. Concepts that arise in the analysis of the texts will be located in Heidegger’s philosophical system as a whole. Both texts are available in Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings (Edited by David Farrell Krell). Routledge. 2010. While the course will concentrate on Heidegger’s texts appropriate secondary reading will be provided.

Course Structure. (The page numbers refer to the pagination in Basic Writings:

Week 1  Introduction to Heidegger on Dwelling and Technology: Building Dwelling Thinking: pages 347-351

Week 2  Building Dwelling Thinking: pages 351-356

Week 3  Building Dwelling Thinking: pages 356-359

Week 4  Building Dwelling Thinking: pages 359-363

Week 5 Agamben and Heidegger: A Translation of Agamben’s Lecture Constructing and Inhabiting – which, in part, is his critique of Building Dwelling Thinking will be provided.

Week 6   The Question Concerning Technology: pages 311-316

Week 7   The Question Concerning Technology: pages 316-321

Week 8  The Question Concerning Technology: pages 321-325

Week 9  The Question Concerning Technology: pages 326-330

Week 10  The Question Concerning Technology: pages 331-336

Week 11.  The Question Concerning Technology: pages 336-341

Week 12.   Lecture: Dwelling and Technology after Heidegger