Die Stimme der Energie

Wikipedia Commons, Peter van den Bossche, Mechelen.

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‘Die Stimme de Energie’ (The voice of energy) is the title of a soundtrack from the album ‘Radioactivity’ of the German electropop-group Kraftwerk. In this intriguing text, the dependence of our modern, technological society on energy is expressed by the ambiguity of servitude and mastery. Unrestricted exploitation of energy makes our ‘technological condition’ possible and – at the same time – makes us addicts and threathens our very existence.

In this essay – which I wrote for the bachelor course ‘The domestication of fate’ of Prof. J. de Mul – I elaborate on this tragic dimension of energy. Yet, energy is not only a tragic, but also a rather incomprehensible phenomenon, which inevitably raises the question regarding its ontological status.

While Heidegger’s later philosophy of technology provides some parallels with regard to this question, his earlier works on technology, like Einführung in die Metaphysik of 1935, deals with the tragic dimension of modern technology. Ancient Greek tragedies, like ‘Prometheus unbound’ by Aischylos and the ‘Ode to man’ in Sophocles’ ‘Antigone’ can help us to shed light on the tragic dimension of our ‘technological dimension’ and also on our addiction to energy.

Wolfgang F. Lutz: Die Stimme der Energie, April 2012 (in Dutch).

Prof. Jos de Mul: De domesticatie van het noodlot. De wedergeboorte van de tragedie uit de geest van de technologie.