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Philosophy Today

Volume 60, Issue 3, Summer 2016

Ashley Woodward
Pages 723-741

Being and Information
On the Meaning of Vattimo

I propose a reading of Vattimo which focuses attention on and develops his suggestions regarding the Heideggerian meditation on technology in relation to the history of Being. In a number of texts, Vattimo takes up Heidegger’s analysis of the essence of modern technology as Ge-Stell, paying particular attention to those moments where he suggests that in the enframing we can catch a first glimpse of a turning in Being. In Bestand, beings begin to loose the characteristics of subject and object, preparing for the Kehre to a new epoch in the history of Being. Vattimo contends that this turn is further developed in the new information and communication technologies of which Heidegger was only dimly aware. I argue then that one of Vattimo’s key contributions to post-Heideggerian hermeneutic ontology is to suggest that we may locate the turn to a new epoch in the history of Being in information, understood as a newly emergent paradigm for the way in which beings appear. However, in order for this to be further developed, Vattimo’s work must be uncoupled from the focus on natural language he inherits from Heidegger and Gadamer.