Like John McCreery, I agree there is a false dichotomy or false "binary
opposition" in the question.
Also I don't think the question is at all well-framed. Partly because I don't
think we're ever going to float off into the "ether". More generally, because
Heidegger's terms reflect a grossly exaggerated utopian spiritual vision otoh
and a grossly exaggerated view of the downsides of (for want of a better word)
'utilitarianism' (i.e. "calculation", "automation" etc.) otoh. Utilitarianism
as a philosophical foundation-stone seems to me untenable (not least because it
cannot be established as true by utilitarian considerations); otoh in a world
of limited resources and hard choices, some form of "utilitarian" thinking is
bound to play a role - and perhaps rightly.
In a 'cost/benefit' analysis, we deploy usually some form of "utilitarian"
thinking - though crucially tempered/counterbalanced by judgments as to what
is "valuable" that are not necessarily tied to economic considerations or
considerations that are derived from strict "utility". We care for the elderly
and infirm or those with dementia even though there may not be any strict
"utility" to this - the "benefit" derives from the value we place on human life
and the costs we will pay to maintain human life with dignity.
There is an ongoing conflict between where we as individuals, and as societies,
set the balance between economic costs and the values we wish to promote - and
in that way there is some kind of "opposition"; but the two spheres interact -
economic considerations (to take one example of "calculation") inform our
choices as to what values we pursue by action, but our values will often
override simple economic considerations.
Though John and Rorty are right that there may be no "necessary connection"
between a person's philosophy and their politics, it is ironic that Heidegger
fusses about the dangers of "calculation" and "automation" while not being
sickened by Hitler's National Socialism. The answer may be that Heidegger's
Nazism was of the utopian Romantic sort - but this tells us the very great
dangers of exaggerated "Romantic" thinking and how it blinds people to reality:
a lesson that might also be extracted from romantic "Communism" or even the
romantic notions of Robespierre. When people talk of how we might "mount into
the ether" you need to check your wallet - and, if the political circumstances
demand it, check your gun too.
John makes reference to "complexity science":>1. Systemic — relationships are
important and cannot be reduced to the properties of components.2. Path
dependent — current states are the result of particular historical trajectories
and cannot be explained solely in term of generic principles.3. Context
dependent — the implications of current states depend on context, e.g., in
forecasting the paths of hurricanes, where the influence of other weather
systems are important, or the impact of military technologies, where, for
example, plate armor made the late medieval knight deadly to unarmored
opponents but also vulnerable to arrows fired from longbows or bullets fired
from muskets.4. Emergent — Given 2 and 3, and the possibility of tipping
points/phase shifts, unexpected outcomes may occur.5. Episodic — Change tends
to occur in bursts. >
What might be added to this is that it is not just the weather or military
systems but the whole course of the evolution of life on earth that involves
"complexity science" in terms of the 5 points. This complexity is added to if
we add levels of metaphysical complexity to the World 1 (in Popper's terms)
that is studied by the natural sciences i.e. if we accept there is a distinct
World 2, and World 3 (and perhaps other metaphysical levels). At the level of
human history, this would lead to a complexity much greater than forecasting
"hurricanes", as it may involve continued interaction between W1 (including
man-made W1 products), human W2 and human W3 "objects".
How, then, is it possible to think about things? The current state of the artMy problem with this is that there is a great difference between where "always
is along the lines of scenario planning. Imagine a set of possibilities, of
which there are always more than two, and consider the conditions under which
they are likely to be realized and the implications if they are. It's that
"always more than two" that informed my original remark.>