Heidegger's Philosophical Thought and Information Technology



Author:Hou-ming Huang


Keywords:Heidegger, determinism, destiny, Gestell, cyberspace, spatiality, speed




Heidegger is one of the influencing thinker of modern technology. In this essay, we extend his thought to reflect on the relationship between human beings and information technology(IT). We insist that the application of technology is not determined by technology alone. On the contrary, the former is the outcome of the interaction between characteristics of certain technology and the socio-cultural context wherein the technology is applied. Therefore, like Heidegger, we emphasize that IT is our destiny, not fatality. It demands our reflection. And according to Heidegger, there are some ontological reasons for our pursuing for more and more speed. Even so he did not make them clear for us. In this paper, we try to utilize Heidegger's analysis of temporality to clarify why speed is the critical point of the development of IT. Besides, following the demarcation between ontological and ontic knowing, which is made by Heidegger when he talked about spatiality, we conclude that the experience of involvement is the reason why cyberspace, the spatial metaphor of internet, is adopted by netizens.