To Be Born

Genesis of a New Human Being

  • Luce¬†Irigaray

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 1-5
  3. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 7-11
  4. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 13-17
  5. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 19-24
  6. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 25-30
  7. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 31-35
  8. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 37-42
  9. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 49-55
  10. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 57-62
  11. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 63-68
  12. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 69-73
  13. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 75-79
  14. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 81-86
  15. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 87-92
  16. Luce Irigaray
    Pages 93-98
  17. Back Matter
    Pages 99-106

About this book


In this book, Luce Irigaray - philosopher, linguist, psychologist and psychoanalyst - proposes nothing less than a new conception of being as well as a means to ensure its individual and relational development from birth.

Unveiling the mystery of our origin is probably what most motivates our quests and plans. Now such a disclosure proves to be impossible. Indeed we were born of a union between two, and we are forever deprived of an origin of our own. Hence our ceaseless search for roots: in our genealogy, in the place where we were born, in our culture, religion or language. But a human being cannot develop starting from roots as a tree does, it must take on responsibility for its own being and existence without continuity with its origin and background.

How can we succeed in doing that? First by cultivating our breathing, which is not only the means thanks to which we come into the world, but which also allows us to transcend mere survival towards a spiritual becoming. Taking on our sexuate belonging is the second element which makes us able to assume our natural existence. Indeed this determination at once brings us energy and provides us with a structure which contributes to our individuation and our relations with other living beings and the world. Our sexuation can also compensate for our absence of roots by compelling us to unite with the other sex so that we freely approach the copulative conjunction from which we were born; that is, the mystery of our origin. This does not occur through a mere sexual instinct or drive, but requires us to cultivate desire and love with respect for our mutual difference(s). In this way we become able to give rise to a new human being, not only at a natural but also at an ontological level. 


origin human being future past present sexual difference language duties the world

Authors and affiliations

  • Luce¬†Irigaray
    • 1
  1. 1.Indepedent ScholarParisFrance

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-39221-9
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-39222-6
  • Buy this book on publisher's site