Can Our Being in the World Remain in the Neuter?

  • Christos Hadjioannou


I read To Be Born as a book on ontology. It is a book about what it means to be, what it means to become who one already is. To Be Born delivers an ontological project that Luce Irigaray announces in earlier books. Irigaray’s work offers an original and positive conception of human existence and the way to fulfill its destiny, in the sense that it posits a determinate way of looking at human being. Irigaray’s ontology is independent—its noematic economy being self-sufficient—but it also constitutes a criticism of major figures of the Western metaphysical canon, notably Plato, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty. Insofar as she calls for a new beginning, a historical rupture from metaphysics, her work can also be understood as a dialogue with the major thinkers of the Western canon she wishes to overcome. Amongst these dialogues, her dialogue with Heidegger is, in my opinion, the most intriguing.


  1. Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and Time (J. Macquarrie & E. Robinson, Trans.). New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  2. Irigaray, L. (1999). The Forgetting of Air (M. B. Mader, Trans.). Austin: The University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  3. Irigaray, L. (2017). To Be Born: Genesis of a New Human Being. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  4. Irigaray, L., & Marder, M. (2016). Through Vegetal Being: Two Philosophical Perspectives. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christos Hadjioannou
    • 1
  1. 1.University College DublinDublinIreland

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