Nouwen on Heidegger on Reflection


Henri Nouwen (1990):”Heidegger [1959] states that the greatest danger of our time is that the calculating way of thinking that is part of the technical revolution will become the dominating and exclusive way of thinking.  Why is this so dangerous?   Heidegger says, ‘Because then we would find, together with the highest and the most successful development of our thinking on the calculating level, an indifference toward reflection and a complete thoughtlessness…then humanity would have renounced and thrown away what is most its own, its ability to reflect.  What is at stake is to save the essence of humanity.  What is at stake is to keep alive our reflective thinking (das Nachdenken).’ “
Heidegger Which begs the question, are we as educators being thoughtless in our metric-centric, calculating, technologically-oriented approaches?  A good dose of reflection might do us and our classes some good.  Or put another way, if education is fundamentally humanizing, and reflection is an essential element of humanity, then education should be reflective.



Heidegger, M. (1959) Gelassenheit.  Pfüllingen: Verlag Günther Neske, 25.

Nouwen, H. (1990) The Road to Daybreak:  A Spiritual Journey.  Image. 133.

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