Friedrich Georg Jünger: The Failure of Technology: Perfection Without Purpose (1946–)

7 February 2016, dusan

Written in the spring and early summer of 1939 and “first published in German as Die Perfektion der Technik in 1946, F.G. Jünger argues that technology has become second nature and will bring “the downfall of the state”. F.G. Jünger, a literary writer and essayist, was the brother of Ernst Jünger. Both represented the intellectual right-wing of the ‘conservative revolution’ in the Weimar Republic and had ambivalent relations to the Third Reich.

The Failure of Technology was a major source for Heidegger’s 1950s turn towards a philosophy of technology in which technology, as second nature, determines human existence.” (FC)

Translated by F.D. Wieck
Introduction by Frederick D. Wilhelmsen
Publisher H. Regnery, Hinsdale, IL, 1949
New edition, 1956
xvi+189 pages
via FC


PDF (Introduction missing)

Michel Henry: Barbarism (1987/2012)

8 October 2012, dusan

Barbarism represents a critique, from the perspective of Michel Henry’s unique philosophy of life, of the increasing potential of science and technology to destroy the roots of culture and the value of the individual human being. For Henry, barbarism is the result of a devaluation of human life and culture that can be traced back to the spread of quantification, the scientific method and technology over all aspects of modern life. The book develops a compelling critique of capitalism, technology and education and provides a powerful insight into the political implications of Henry’s work. It also opens up a new dialogue with other influential cultural critics, such as Marx, Husserl, and Heidegger.

First published in French in 1987, Barbarism aroused great interest as well as virulent criticism. Today the book reveals what for Henry is a cruel reality: the tragic feeling of powerlessness experienced by the cultured person. Above all he argues for the importance of returning to philosophy in order to analyse the root causes of barbarism in our world.

Originally published in French as La Barbarie by Editions Grasset & Fasquelle, 1987
Translated by Scott Davidson
Publisher Continuum, London/New York, 2012
Volume 95 of Continuum Impacts
ISBN 1441132651, 9781441132659
168 pages

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PDF (Alt link, added on 2014-1-21)

Jacques Ellul: The Technological Society (1954/1964)

11 August 2012, dusan

As insightful and wise today as it was when originally published in 1954, Jacques Ellul’s The Technological Society has become a classic in its field, laying the groundwork for all other studies of technology and society that have followed. Ellul offers a penetrating analysis of our technological civilization, showing how technology–which began innocuously enough as a servant of humankind–threatens to overthrow humanity itself in its ongoing creation of an environment that meets its own ends. No conversation about the dangers of technology and its unavoidable effects on society can begin without a careful reading of this book.

Originally published in French as La technique ou l’enjeu du siècle by Librairie Armand Colin, 1954.
Translated by John Wilkinson
With an introduction by Robert K. Merton
Publisher Vintage Books, a divisio of Random House, New York, 1964
449 pages

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