The Ontological and Ethical Questions Concerning Technology in Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis

  • 呂 柏廷

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

This thesis aims to explore Heidegger’s and Levinas’s philosophies of the technological and ethical in Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis Technology has great influence on human lives in many different ways From the ancient time to the modern era our relationship with technology has dramatically changed Modern technology introduces new ethical problems in human societies While humans in the ancient time concerned most about the efficiency of technology we worry about technology’s ability to cause civilizational destruction in the modern era Martin Heidegger expresses his concern about modern technology by introducing the concept of Ge-stell (Enframing) Heidegger believes that human beings are growing too much dependency on technology and such ill reliance will eventually disable us from getting a free relationship with our own creations In a similar manner Don DeLillo also worries about and predicts a technological-economical enframed world in his thirteenth novel Cosmopolis (2003) The protagonist Eric Packer’s death can be regarded as DeLillo’s reflection on the danger of digital capitalism Through a Heideggerian reading I will explain why modern technology is the central problem embedded in the world of Cosmopolis Both DeLillo and Heidegger’s critics have more than once expressed their concern about the nihilistic tone emanating through their works However I will argue for a power of salvation by reconciling Emmanuel Levinas’s ethics with a Heideggerian reading on Cosmopolis This thesis will explain why a combination of both thinkers is an essential reading to rethink the ethical relationships we shared with modern technology
Date of Award2018 Jun 22
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorChung-Hsiung Lai (Supervisor)

Cite this

The Ontological and Ethical Questions Concerning Technology in Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis
柏廷, 呂. (Author). 2018 Jun 22

Student thesis: Master's Thesis