Re: Techné

From: steve (
Date: Tue Feb 26 2002 - 08:36:47 MST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Damien Broderick" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2002 7:44 AM
Subject: Techné

> A moment's googling found this:
> and of course it's also the *title* of an important journal, from
> The word/concept as it has developed in current discourse derives from
> Martin Heidegger, a German philosopher with whom I, for one, have very
> little sympathy. And there is no doubt that the world is full of mumbling
> poseurs who babble pomo terms like this as a way of avoiding thinking, and
> that's a shame. It doesn't give us a warrant to act as if the core
> discussion itself is worthless.
> Damien Broderick

Interesting link. Like Damien I have trouble with Heidegger but he is a very
influential thinker right now. As the linked document says "techne" is a
Greek word which means 'practical knowledge' ie an activity which contains
the knowledge of how to do it within itself, so you know it by doing it.
This is linked to ideas about the nature of art. Peter Drucker has an
interesting discussion of this. He argues that until the 18th century the
general belief was that you could only acquire this kind of knowledge by
doing the activity or observing it directly and then practising/imitating
it. For Drucker this is one of the main reasons why technological innovation
was so slow and patchy. The breakthrough is the idea that "techne" can be
put into printed words and so transmitted rapidly over long distances. This
is though the "mediation" that Heidegger and others don't like. BTW can any
German speaker on this list tell me, is Heidegger really difficult to
understand or is just that he doesn't translate well from German to English
? Steve Davies

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