Nietzsche, Postphenomenology, and Nihilism-Technology Relations

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In part one of this paper I describe a tendency in technological production that I call the “leisure-as-liberation” model of technological design, and outline how it has evolved from Aristotle, to Marx, to today. In part two I show, by developing an outline of what I call “human-nihilism relations,” how Nietzsche would criticize the idea that we could find liberation through leisure. In part three I provide a tour of Don Ihde’s postphenomenology, in order to set up parallels between Nietzsche’s human-nihilism relations and Ihde’s human-technology relations. In part four I develop these parallels into a new set of relations that I call “nihilism-technology relations,” in order to highlight how technologies can mediate nihilism and how nihilism can mediate technologies. I conclude with a reflection on how rehabilitating the concept of responsibility can help us to move away from this nihilistic “leisure-as-liberation” model of technological design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Future of Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationPhilosophical Foundations, Ethical Problems and Application Cases
EditorsAlbrecht Fritzsche, Sascha Julian Oks
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783319910291
ISBN (Print)9783319910284
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018

Publication series

NamePhilosophy of Engineering and Technology
ISSN (Print)1879-7202
ISSN (Electronic)1879-7210


  • Nietzsche
  • Postphenomenology
  • Nihilism
  • Ethics of technology
  • Responsibility
  • NLA


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