International Philosophical Quarterly


published on July 30, 2014

Andrew Komasinski

Anti-Climacus’s Pre-emptive Critique of Heidegger’s “Question Concerning Technology”

In this article I argue that The Sickness unto Death, authored by Kierkegaard under the pseudonym Johannes Anti-Climacus, has resources for an interesting critique of technology in some ways like that of Heidegger’s critiques in “Question Concerning Technology” and Being and Time. I suggest that Anti-Climacus’s account of “despair” resonates with much of what Heidegger says about inauthenticity and the self’s orientation toward death. But I also contend that in maintaining that the self can only be complete by understanding itself as essentially relating and related to God, Anti-Climacus has a critique of the sort of solution that Heidegger would provide. Finally, I trace the origin of this view to fundamental differences in ontology that must be settled outside of the problems posed by technology.

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