Simone De Beauvoir (1908–1986)
On this episode, we take a look at Simone De Beauvoir and her book The Ethics of Ambiguity. See the full transcript of this episode here.
There are some thinkers who are, from the very beginning, unambiguously identified as philosophers (e.g., Plato). There are others whose philosophical place is forever contested (e.g., Nietzsche); and there are those who have gradually won the right to be admitted into the philosophical fold. Simone de Beauvoir is one of these belatedly acknowledged philosophers. Identifying herself as an author rather than as a philosopher and calling herself the midwife of Sartre’s existential ethics rather than a thinker in her own right, Beauvoir’s place in philosophy had to be won against her word.
That place is now uncontested. The international conference celebrating the centennial of Beauvoir’s birth organized by Julia Kristeva is one of the more visible signs of Beauvoir’s growing influence and status. Her enduring contributions to the fields of ethics, politics, existentialism, phenomenology and feminist theory and her significance as an activist and public intellectual is now a matter of record. Unlike her status as a philosopher, Simone de Beauvoir’s position as a feminist theorist has never been in question. Controversial from the beginning, The Second Sex’s critique of patriarchy continues to challenge social, political and religious categories used to justify women’s inferior status. (source)
Further Reading on Simone De Beauvoir:
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