American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (1):109-125 (2007)
The tension between beauty and technology is evinced in the modern distinction within technē itself between technology and “fine art.” Yet while beauty,as Kant observes, is never a means to an end, neither is it an “end in itself.” Beauty points beyond itself while refusing subordination to human interests. Both its noninstrumentality and its self-transcending character I trace to the intrinsic necessity of the beautiful, which is essentially impersonal while paradoxically being an object of love. I suggest that we conceive of beauty as an “anonymous voice,” and I relate the latter to Heidegger’s critique of modern technology as a projection upon nature of “resource being.” I conclude that technology can be creative rather than destructive of beauty when it lets natural ends, which are inescapably in conflict with one another, transcend themselves through self-sacrifice
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