Seeing Through the Fumes: Technology and Asymmetry in the Anthropocene

Jochem Zwier*, Vincent Blok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper offers a twofold ontological conceptualization of technology in the Anthropocene. On the one hand, we aim to show how the Anthropocene occasions an experience of our inescapable inclusion in the technological structuring of reality that Martin Heidegger associates with cybernetics. On the other hand, by confronting Heidegger’s thought on technology with Georges Bataille’s consideration of technological existence as economic and averted existence, we will criticize Heidegger’s account by arguing that notwithstanding its inescapable inclusion in cybernetics, technology in the Anthropocene itself fosters an experience of what remains excluded. We conclude by indicating how such an experience is relevant for contemporary philosophical investigation of technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-646
JournalHuman Studies
Issue number4
Early online date6 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Anthropocene
  • Asymmetry
  • Bataille
  • Cybernetics
  • Earth
  • Heidegger


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