An examination of Simone de Beauvoir's theme of situated embodiment

Abstract
Abstract This thesis is an examination of Simone de Beauvoir's theme of situated embodiment. The aim of the thesis is to demonstrate that the theme of situated embodiment was a concern of Beauvoir's since early childhood and that it was this interest which was the impetus for Beauvoir's later philosophical notion of authentic embodiment. Through the examination of Beauvoir's autobiographies it becomes evident that Beauvoir consistently demonstrates an early awareness that one's situation will be expressed through one's body. This idea is also present in Beauvoir's novels. In the novels it is shown that many of the characters are struggling within authentic embodiment. Beauvoir also fictionalizes many of her own experiences in the novels. These novels are used as concrete examples of Beauvoir's philosophy. Through Beauvoir's philosophical works it becomes evident that authentic embodiment will include the notions of freedom, ambiguity, and reciprocity. All are crucial when trying to live an authentic existence. Beauvoir's philosophy also focuses on marginalized groups who are in the position ofthe Other. One of the marginalized groups studied are women, and this thesis investigates Beauvoir's understanding of why woman is in the position of the Other. This thesis also addresses two feminist criticisms of Beauvoir's study on women. These criticisms are argued against in an effort to defend the notion ofauthentic situated embodiment as delineated in the first three chapters. Overall it is established that Beauvoir's early experiences allowed for her to form the philosophical idea of situated embodiment that lies at the core of her philosophy
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