By Joseph Mahon
Simone de Beauvoir made her personal detailed contribution to existentialism within the type of an ethics which diverged sharply from that of Jean-Paul Sartre. In her novels and philosophical essays of the Nineteen Forties she produced not only a recognizably existentialist ethics, but additionally a personality ethics and an ethics for violence. those matters, stemming from her personal own philosophical history, provide an essential, modern resonance to her paintings. De Beauvoir's feminist vintage the second one intercourse displays her prior philosophical pursuits, and is significantly bolstered through this impact. This booklet defends her existentialist feminism opposed to the numerous reproaches which were levelled opposed to it over a number of a long time, no longer least the feedback that it's steeped in Sartrean masculinism.
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Extra info for Existentialism, Feminism, and Simone de Beauvoir
20 The Ethics of Ambiguity: An Existentialist Ethics 41 So, are Marxism and existentialism saying the same thing? The answer is No, says de Beauvoir. The reason that they are not saying the same thing is that they hold radically opposed positions on the question of freedom, for even if it is the will which decides, Marxism also holds that the will is unfree. ' As de Beauvoir reads it, this is a statement to the effect that human wills are the reflection of objective conditions by which the situation of the class, or the people under consideration is defined.
The point which I presently wish to press is that some of these abstract, philosophical concepts first appear, albeit in a different context and in an adumbrated form, in her early philosophical essay Pyrrhus and Cineas. I am thinking in particular of the concept of transcendence, as well as of the related concepts of the project and freedom. These will become, before the decade's end, part of the sturdy philosophical foundation of The Second Sex. 1 But this philosophical intention was either ignored by the public, or, as de Beauvoir herself surmises, was simply not apparent to them.
Simone de Beauvoir's own novel of the Occupation posits the following six responses: (1) Pacifism (Gauthier, Mme Blomart); (2) NonViolent Resistance (Blumenfeld); (3) Inaction (Blomart); (4) Loyal 34 Existentialism, Feminism and Simone de Beauvoir Collaboration (Gauthier); (5) Violent Resistance (Blomart, Helene, Laurent, Madeleine, Denise, Marcel, M. Blomart); (6) War (the French Army). It is not, I submit, a forcing of the point to claim that these two novels do not differ to any marked extent in their treatment of the theme of Occupation and how to respond to it.
Existentialism, Feminism, and Simone de Beauvoir by Joseph Mahon