The TORCH Oxford Phenomenology Network are hosting a talk by Christoper Müller (Cardiff University), on 'The Punishment of Prometheus: Günther Anders and the Obsolescence of Phenomenology'
Günther Anders (1902-1992), an influential philosopher in continental Europe, remains largely untranslated into English. He was Hannah Arendt’s husband, Walter Benjamin’s cousin, and a student of Husserl and Heidegger. The Obsolescence of Human Beings (1956; 1980) argues that a ‘Promethean rift’ is opening between our technologically-mediated ability to collectively influence the world and our individual capacity to feel. I will use Anders’ diagnosis that machines ‘cannot be considered phenomena’ to assess what contribution Anders’ eccentric phenomenology can make today as we share our lives with seemingly innocuous and increasingly capable machines.