Critical Summary on “Marcuse and the Critique of Technology” by Andrew Feenberg

Andrew Feenberg in his article “Marcuse and the Critique of Technology” presents the Heidegger’s and Marcuse’s criticism of the modern technology. In fact, Heidegger and Marcuse have quite a contrary view on technologies and its impact on the modern society. The author lays emphasis on the fact that the development of modern technologies has changed the world consistently and the mankind has already made an unparalleled progress in the research of the surrounding world and introduction of new technologies. In such a situation, the author points out that the technology as a study of nature is distinguished from the general human culture and such a separation of knowledge and technologies make them unique.

At the same time, the author raises the question concerning the impact of technologies in the humankind. In this respect, he argues that the position of Heidegger was quite pessimistic since he believed that the development of technologies is likely to lead the humankind to the early self-destruction. Heidegger justified his position by referring to the past experience of Greek civilization and their view on knowledge and science. The antagonism between nature and human technologies leads to the destruction of the natural environment that may result in the extinction of humans.

Marcuse, in contrast, is more optimistic in his vision of the future of technologies and humankind. Feenberg point out that Marcuse stands on the Marxist ground and believes in the evolutionary development of technologies which could lead to the overall well-being of humankind. At any rate, according to Marcuse, technologies can improve the life of people.

Thus, the author shows two opposing views on technologies, modern science and their impact on the future of the humankind.

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