Thursday, July 16, 2015
In The Atlantic, T. Hugh Crawford explains axes.
An axe is heavy, sharp, and often used on uneven terrain. Woodcraft manuals abound with directions for clearing escape paths, how to hold or drop an axe given the circumstances, and of course, how to fell a tree and split wood safely. Woodchoppers never lose sight of the inherent danger of their actions, of the constant need for deliberation, but it is in that danger that Hölderlin’s "saving power" can be found. For Heidegger, the essence of technology is dangerous because we “may quail at the unconcealed and may misinterpret it.” The “unconcealed” is not simple material and equipment, nor is it transcendent existence. Rather it is an awareness of complex, embodied interactions that unfold in time and exceed or defy subject/object binaries and philosophical or technical abstraction.
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