German Perspectives - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 18 pages of information about German Perspectives.
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Background: Gehlen and Heidegger

Arnold Gehlen (1904–1976) and Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) were the two main philosophers to deal with technology during the second half of the twentieth century. Gehlen's anthropological approach was to interpret human beings as deficient beings who use technology to compensate for their organic shortcomings. The characteristic activity of technology involves the creation and use of Organersatzes, that is, substitutes for or supersedings of those organs with which humans are endowed by nature. "There are two aspects to this tendency: artificial materials replacing those organically produced; and non-organic energy replacing organic energy" (Gehlen 1980, p. 5). The earliest humans strengthened their hands with wood and stone instruments, then replaced old materials in these instruments with new ones that defined entire ages (the Bronze Age, Iron Age, etc.), a substitution process that has continued into synthetic chemistry. But of even greater significance has been the replacement of human...

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This section contains 5,133 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the German Perspectives Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics
German Perspectives from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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