Read Martin Heidegger’s essay “Memorial Address” from the short book Discourse on Thinking. In that piece Heidegger argues there are two kinds of thinking: calculative and meditative.
He then argues that while meditative thinking is the most fundamental type of thinking for humanity, it is being neglected and marginalized more and more by the kind of calculative thinking epitomized by modern science and technology.
Write a short critical analysis of Heidegger’s essay (no less than four pages double spaced with a works cited page).
Martin Heidegger’ “Memorial Address”
Include the following ideas:
1. What does Heidegger mean by autochthony and why calculative thought disrupts mankind’s autochthony in his view?
2. What is Heidegger’s solution to the problem of calculative/technological thought?
3. Examine three items of technology you use on a daily basis (e.g. cell phone, Internet, iPod). Compared to contemplating a work of art (or better yet creating a work of art), Heidegger would argue that these items tend to be dehumanizing and that we can understand this simply by looking at these technologies’ relationship to time.
The problem is that while they are designed to make tasks faster and more convenient in order to “save” time, they end up doing the opposite. When we use technology, we often find that we do not save time, but rather that we waste it. We find ourselves using these devices merely to “kill time,” and in doing so, avoid more thoughtful contemplation and authentic engagement with the world around us.
4. Is he right about this? Explain your answers.
5. Find an article that either supports or opposes Heidegger’s position and incorporate it into your paper.
Be sure to include a works cited page and proper MLA style.
Here is the text of Memorial Address: