01 SES 16 A, U-turn on the Highway to Hell? Education and Professional Development for Sustainability as Praxis
It is clear that we have to do something in our time concerning global warming yet before we can actually change the world, we must first understand our world. According to Heidegger, technology itself is not good or bad, but the problem is, that technological thinking (calculative thinking) has become the only form of thinking. One reason is, that we have not understood the essence of technology in modern time. In Antique Aristotelian Techne (as bringing forth of something) was the essence of technology. Heidegger saw that the essence of technology nowadays is enframing - Ge-stell, which means that everything in nature is “standing-reserve” (Bestand). A river is “standing-reserve” for a power station, a forest is “standing-reserve” for a paper factory. This is similar to Agamben’s and Foucault’s term apparatus. Enframing (as apparatus) is one way of uncovering, which for Heidegger meant truth. Here Heidegger saw danger. Truth can appear in many ways and the danger is, that this truth of representational-calculative thinking becomes the only truth. Heidegger named the most dangerous outcome of technology as nuclear power and gene-technology. The aim of the presentation is to reflect how, or to what extent, if any, teachers could step outside of the technological ‘Ge-stell’. First of all the calculative way of thinking must be changed and we posit that Gelassenheit (slow thinking, releasement, letting-go) is the remedy. Gelassenheit is thinking which let things be in their essence, letting the world to be. Letting-go is the opposite of enframing and is an active way to be in the world. It does not mean some kind of mysticism or irrationality. The notion of Gelassenheit includes the idea of to let learn. This letting learn is more difficult than learning itself, because the task of letting learn involves learning to think. We as teachers and educators have to learn how to think outside of the technological ‘Ge-stell’ and start thinking and acting in radically new ways. Like Arne Naes and Michael Zimmerman we connect the overcoming of technological ‘Ge-stell’ with so called deep ecology. We have to ‘learn to think’ and act within the deep ecology. This we could call an educational ecological imperative. Every teacher and educationalist has to think what they can do (not as private person but as professionals) in order to prevent the coming eco-catastrophe.
Agamben, G. 2009. What is an apparatus? California: Stanford University Press. Foucault, M. 1980. Power/Knowledge. Ed. C. Gordon. New York: Pantheon books. Heidegger, M. 1969. Discourse on thinking. New York: Harper Torchbooks. Heidegger, M. 1977. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. New York: Harper Torchbooks. Naess, A. 1997. Heidegger and Deep Ecology. The Trumpeter. Journal of Ecosophy. Vol 14, no 4 (1997). Zimmerman, M. 1990. Heidegger’s Confrontation with Modernity. Technology, Politics and Art. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
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