Review of Metaphysics 59 (2):435-437 (2005)

It may seem remarkable that Professor Kroker also cites with nearly equivalent reverence Bill Gates’s Business @ the Speed of Thought, but the incongruity is eased when one realizes that, for the author, Gates is the living clue to the Heidegger–Marx/heidegger–nietzsche connections he identifies. In Kroker’s analysis, Gates plays the role of both heroic visionary and subtly sinister harbinger of the end of the fully human. Moreover, “[w]hat is disclosed in [Gates’s] book is nothing less than a general political philosophy” that serves as a basis for understanding the construction of the “digital nervous system” in which, Kroker contends, we are all irrecusably implicated and its disembodiment in the first “virtual class”, “the self-realized form of the knowledge theory of value” of which we are all already members and which Heidegger foresaw. The “virtual class is... a specialist class of the digital nervous system.” It is “how the circulation of the digital circuit is deep-time coded into every dimension of human experience.... It is a Heideggerian class working in the practico-inert of Marxist social history”. “Gates as the ascetic priest of the digital world is Nietzsche’s übermensch, the ‘overman’ whose ascetic task lies in establishing the value-direction of the softwaring of human flesh” and “Heidegger is Nietzsche recombinant”. Kroker mines On the Genealogy of Morals for its premonitions of Heidegger’s insights into the impact of technology on human beings, asserting that “Nietzsche is the fatal object of attraction and repulsion around which Heidegger’s thought hovers like a captive moon”.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph2005592138
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