Heidegger’s conception of science and technology is concerned with the fundamental attitude toward the world that they embody and that they have translated into the actualities of modern life all over the earth. This attitude may be described as that of traditional humanism and metaphysics, which has developed in the Western world from the time of the Greeks and which has now achieved worldwide acceptance. It is the attitude that attempts to know the world, to penetrate it fully and to seize control of it.
Heidegger notes the enormous success of this point of view. Science and technology are the success story of world history, perhaps its only one. They have triumphed beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, fathomed the secrets of the natural world, and accomplished what metaphysics envisages and rationalizes. For Heidegger they are not a chapter within the history of metaphysics; they are the essence of metaphysics, its complete fulfillment. They show what the “reality” they represent really is, namely, to be no more than what they can grasp. Science puts an end to metaphysics by fully realizing it in theory and practice. In science metaphysics has achieved its own conception and thereby brings itself to an end. In this it is seen to have been something different all along from what it supposed itself to be, to have been part of a different and much larger story.
The moment of the end of metaphysics is the moment at which it reveals what it always was, in a context that until now was hidden from us. We see simultaneously what the essence of science and technology, and therefore metaphysics, is and how this relates to the still larger history of self-revelation that includes it. This essence of science and technology as representation of the world Heidegger calls Gestell, or “enframing.” This coined word has both the connotation of a “scaffolding” used in a construction and the slang meaning of a “frame-up” or something “rigged” to produce a predetermined result. Science “rigs” its results by framing only questions that elicit a certain kind of answer. This is not full, open, free thinking, only calculation where the question “forces” the answer.
— Henry Le Roy Finch, Simone Weil and the Intellect of Grace