Human Studies

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 399–421

Diabetes, Chronic Illness and the Bodily Roots of Ecstatic Temporality

Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10746-008-9104-y

Cite this article as:
Morris, D. Hum Stud (2008) 31: 399. doi:10.1007/s10746-008-9104-y


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.


AdherenceBodyChronic illnessComplianceDiabetesEcstatic temporalityMerleau-PontyHeideggerBeing and TimePhenomenologyImprovisation

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada