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Martin Heidegger’s notion of things as gatherings that disclose a world conveys the “thickness” of everyday objects. This essay extends his discussion of things—part of a sustained criticism of modern technology—to technological objects as well. As a corrective to his totalizing, even totalitarian, generalizations about “enframing” and “the age of the world‐picture,” and to a more widespread tendency among critics of modernity to present technology in only the most dystopian, uniform, and claustrophobic terms, this essay explores two species of technical object: cosmic things and cosmograms. The first suggests how an ordinary object may contain an entire cosmos, the second how a cosmos may be treated as just another thing. These notions are proposed as a basis for comparison and connection between “the industrial world” and other modes of ordering the universe.
Posted with permission from University of Chicago Press.
Tresch, J. (2007). Technological World-Pictures: Cosmic Things and Cosmograms. Isis, 98 (1), 84-94. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/512833
Date Posted: 09 May 2017
This document has been peer reviewed.