Part 2. Modernity and Technological Consciousness


In Part 1 we demonstrated that, even if what Western thought would recognise as a ‘philosophy of technology’ remained alien to the Chinese, nevertheless the exposition of the history of the relation between Qi and Dao enables us to unearth a ‘technological thinking’ in Chinese philosophy. It is our task in Part 2 to ask what happened when this Chinese technological thinking confronted the Western one, grounded in its long philosophical tradition. What is called ‘modernity’ in Europe didn’t exist in China, and modernisation only occurred after the confrontation between the two modes of technological thought. Here this confrontation will be described as the tension between two temporal structures; but this will also involve a rethinking of the question of modernity itself.…