The Question Concerning Technology in China. An Essay in Cosmotechnics


In this remarkable book, Yuk Hui draws on the major thinkers of both the West and the East to elaborate an original reflection on the nature of technology. He has enlarged the philosophical horizon for the Anthropocene age.”

Andrew Feenberg

“There is no more challenging work for anyone interested in trying to understand both the manifold philosophical challenges of Western scientific technology and the contemporary rise of China on the world-historical scene.”

Carl Mitcham, Issues in Science and Technology

“uma das visões mais originais e poderosas sobre como pensar a tecnologia a partir de uma perspectiva filosófica” (one of the most original and powerful views on how to think technology from a philosophical perspective)

Ronaldo Lemos, Folha de S. Paulo

Yuk Hui’s essay on cosmotechnics is a commendable effort, an inspiring and informative alternative history of Chinese philosophical thought on technology and a provocative speculative fugue.

Gabriele de Seta, Asiascape: Digital Asia


仲山ひふみ, Genron

Вместо отрица- ния техники и традиции наша программа должна быть открыта плюрализму космотехник и многообразию ритмов посредством трансформации того, что уже есть (Instead of denying technology and tradition, our program should be open to cosmotechnical pluralism and diversity of rhythms through the transformation of what is already there)

Eugene Kuchinov, Журнал DOXA

Heidegger’s critique of modern technology and its relation to metaphysics has been widely accepted in the East. Yet the conception that there is only one—originally Greek—type of technics has been an obstacle to any original critical thinking of technology in modern Chinese thought.

Yuk Hui argues for the urgency of imagining a specifically Chinese philosophy of technology capable of responding to Heidegger’s challenge, while problematizing the affirmation of technics and technologies as anthropologically universal.

This investigation of the historical-metaphysical question of technology, drawing on Lyotard, Simondon, and Stiegler, and introducing a history of modern Chinese philsophical thinking largely unknown to Western thinkers, sheds new light on the obscurity of the question of technology in China. Why was technics never thematized in Chinese thought? Why has time never been a real question for Chinese philosophy? How was the traditional concept of Qi transformed in its relation to Dao as China welcomed technological modernity and westernization?

In The Question Concerning Technology in China, a systematic historical survey of the major concepts of traditional Chinese thinking is followed by a startlingly original investigation of these questions, in order to ask how Chinese thought might today contribute to a renewed, cosmotechnical questioning of globalized technics.

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Part 1. In Search of Technological Thought in China
  • Part 2. Modernity and Technological Consciousness

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