Graduate studies at Western
Hypatia 22 (3):111-132 (2007)
|Abstract||: In this essay, Hutchings contends that Simone de Beauvoir's argument in The Ethics of Ambiguity provides a valuable resource for feminists currently addressing the question of the legitimacy of political violence, whether of the state or otherwise. The reason is not that Beauvoir provides a definitive answer to this question, but rather because of the ways in which she deconstructs it. In enabling her reader to appreciate what is presupposed by a resistant politics that adopts violence as its instrument, Beauvoir illuminates the problems encountered by the kinds of "realistic and positive" and "idealistic and moral" arguments through which the use of violence in politics is routinely justified. At the same time, Beauvoir demonstrates that to deconstruct the question of the legitimacy of violence is neither to banish nor resolve it. She does not offer a recipe for determining the legitimacy or otherwise of the use of violence in politics in general; instead, she illuminates the irremediable difficulty and inescapability of such judgments in a violent and intransigent world|
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