Research Paper

Human Studies

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 399-421

First online:

Diabetes, Chronic Illness and the Bodily Roots of Ecstatic Temporality

  • David MorrisAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Concordia University Email author 

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This article studies the phenomenology of chronic illness in light of phenomenology’s insights into ecstatic temporality and freedom. It shows how a chronic illness can, in lived experience, manifest itself as a disturbance of our usual relation to ecstatic temporality and thence as a disturbance of freedom. This suggests that ecstatic temporality is related to another sort of time—“provisional time”—that is in turn rooted in the body. The article draws on Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception and Heidegger’s Being and Time, shedding light on the latter’s concept of ecstatic temporality. It also discusses implications for self-management of chronic illness, especially in children.


Adherence Body Chronic illness Compliance Diabetes Ecstatic temporality Merleau-Ponty Heidegger Being and Time Phenomenology Improvisation