Nietzsche, Postphenomenology, and Nihilism-Technology Relations

  • Nolen GertzEmail author
Part of the Philosophy of Engineering and Technology book series (POET, volume 31)


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.


Nihilism Postphenomenology Nietzsche Ethics of technology Responsibility 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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