Birds of the Air, Lilies of the Field: Revisiting Animality in Heidegger through Derrida and Kierkegaard

Document Type


Publication Date



Although the place of the animal in Heidegger’s thought has been the subject of investigation in numerous books and journal articles coming from the most diverse perspectives, a Heideggerian phenomenology of the animal remains to be carried out to the fullest extent possible, as we saw in questions more widely discussed by both Heidegger and Heidegger scholars, such as those concerning language, dwelling, and technology. In this essay, we revisit the question of animality in Heidegger, and recognize how Derrida and Kierkegaard can help us in sensing the possible directions of such a renewed commitment to phenomenology, this time focusing on the question of the animal. This new phenomenological path of inquiry itself might shed new light on those enduring questions in a way that goes beyond Heidegger, even as we remain indebted to him for the initial clearing that he undertook for meditative thinking.