The Time of the Animal

PhaenEx 2 (2):61-80 (2007)


Taking a cue from Derrida, this paper offers a reading of Heidegger on the issue of animal time. Recent scholarship on Heidegger and animal life has shown how he describes animals as always lacking something (language, world, hands, death…) in comparison to human Dasein. Yet little attention has been paid to time itself. By reading the few references to animals in Being and Time , as well as contemporaneous works, one discovers that Heidegger never fully addresses the question of the animal in terms of time. Despite his claim to offer a “comparative examination” between the ontologies of humans and animals, Heidegger continually raises the issue of animal time but only to leave it unsettled. Moving from Being and Time to his 1929-30 lecture course, Heidegger effectively brackets out the question of time, which this essay takes to be the reason why he himself remains unconvinced by his own analyses of animal ontology

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Brett Buchanan
Laurentian University

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