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Simone de Beauvoir: The Making of an Intellectual Woman

Oxford University Press (2008)

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  1. Confronting an Impasse: Reflections on the Past and Future of Beauvoir Scholarship.Margaret Simons - 2010 - Hypatia 25 (4):909-926.
    Hypatia's twenty-fifth anniversary in 2009, coming on the heels of Simone de Beauvoir's 100th birthday in 2008, provides an ideal moment to reflect on the past and future of research on Beauvoir's philosophy—the subject of two past Hypatia issues. Reviewing these early issues in the light of more recent publications reveals both the progress in Beauvoir scholarship and a scholarly impasse that must be confronted if that progress is to continue.
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  • The Sex of Nature: A Reinterpretation of Irigaray's Metaphysics and Political Thought.Alison Stone - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (3):60-84.
    : I argue that Irigaray's recent work develops a theoretically cogent and politically radical form of realist essentialism. I suggest that she identifies sexual difference with a fundamental difference between the rhythms of percipient fluids constituting women's and men's bodies, supporting this with a philosophy of nature that she justifies phenomenologically and ethically. I explore the politics Irigaray derives from this philosophy, which affirms the sexes' rights to realize the possibilities of their rhythmically diverse bodies.
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  • Beauvoir, Hegel, War.Meryl Altman - 2007 - Hypatia 22 (3):66-91.
    : The importance of Hegel to the philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir, both to her early philosophical texts and to The Second Sex, is usually discussed in terms of the master-slave dialectic and a Kojève–influenced reading, which some see her as sharing with Sartre, others persuasively describe as divergent from and corrective to Sartre's. Altman shows that Hegel's influence on Beauvoir's work is also wider, both in terms of what she takes on board and what she works through and rejects, (...)
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  • Between Hypatia and Beauvoir: Philosophy as Discourse.Katherine Arens - 1995 - Hypatia 10 (4):46 - 75.
    Two studies of women in philosophy, Michéle Le Doeuff's biography of Simone de Beauvoir Hipparchia's Choice (1991) and Fritz Mauthner's historical novel Hypatia (1892), question what kind of power and authority are available to philosophers. Mauthner's philosophy of language expands on Le Doeuff to outline how philosophy acts parallel to other sociohistorical discourses, relying on public consensus and on the negotiation of stereotypes to create a viable speaking subject for the female philosopher.
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  • Beauvoir-in-America: Understanding, Concrete Experience, and Beauvoir's Appropriation of Heidegger in America Day by Day.Alexander Ruch - 2009 - Hypatia 24 (4):104 - 129.
    This paper reads Simone de Beauvoir's travel journal "America Day by Day" for its philosophical content. I argue that this work provides a unique approach to feminist, embodied philosophy, one that has been overlooked by the categorization of her writing into philosophical works and feminist ones. Such an approach, I contend, is enacted here through her use of Heidegger's concept of the everyday to inform her own treatment of understanding and experience.
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  • The Viability of the Philosophical Novel: The Case of Simone de Beauvoir's She Came to Stay.Ashley King Scheu - 2012 - Hypatia 27 (4):791 - 809.
    This article begins by asking if the project to write a philosophical novel is not inherently flawed; it would seem that the novelist must either write an ambiguous text, which would not create a strong enough argument to count as philosophy, or she must write a text with a clear argument, which would not be ambiguous enough to count as good fiction. The only other option available would be to exemplify a preexisting abstract philosophical system in the concrete literary world. (...)
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  • What is a Woman? Butler and Beauvoir on the Foundations of the Sexual Difference.Sara Heinämaa - 1997 - Hypatia 12 (1):20-39.
    The aim of this paper is to show that Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex has been mistakenly interpreted as a theory of gender, because interpreters have failed adequately to understand Beauvoir's aims. Beauvoir is not trying to explain facts, events, or states of affairs, but to reveal, unveil, or uncover (découvrir) meanings. She explicates the meanings of woman, female, and feminine. Instead of a theory, Beauvoir's book presents a phenomenological description of the sexual difference.
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  • Somaesthetics and The Second Sex: A Pragmatist Reading of a Feminist Classic.Richard Shusterman - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (4):106-136.
    This paper explains the discipline of somaesthetics, which emerges from pragmatism's concern with enhancing embodied experience and reconstructing the aesthetic in ways that make it more central to key philosophical concerns of knowledge, ethics, and politics. I then examine Beauvoir's complex treatment of the body in The Second Sex, assessing both her arguments that could support the pragmatic approach of somaesthetics but also those that challenge its bodily focus as a danger for feminism.
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  • Simone de Beauvoir's Notions of Appeal, Desire, and Ambiguity and Their Relationship to Jean-Paul Sartre's Notions of Appeal and Desire.Eva Gothlin - 1999 - Hypatia 14 (4):83-95.
    This essay focuses on some important concepts in Beauvoir's philosophy: ambiguity, desire, and appeal (appel). Ambiguity and appeal, concepts originating in Beauvoir's moral philosophy, are in The Second Sex connected to the female body and feminine desire. This indicates the complexity of Beauvoir's image of femininity. This essay also proposes a comparative reading of Beauvoir's and Sartre's concepts of appeal, a reading that indicates differences in their views of the relationship among ethics, desire, and gender.
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  • The Blood of Others: A Novel Approach to The Ethics of Ambiguity.Eleanore Holveck - 1999 - Hypatia 14 (4):3 - 17.
    This article shows that the relationship between Simone de Beauvoir's novel, Le Sang des autres (The Blood of Others), first published in 1945, and her essay, Pour une morale de l'ambiguïté (The Ethics of Ambiguity), first published in 1947, illustrates her point in "Littérature et métaphysique" that an abstract philosophical theory is grounded in immediate metaphysical experience. An original ethical position emerges from Hélène Bertrand's lived experience in the novel, which anticipates feminist issues addressed in The Second Sex more directly (...)
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  • From existential alterity to ethical reciprocity: Beauvoir’s alternative to Levinas.Ellie Anderson - 2019 - Continental Philosophy Review 52 (2):171-189.
    While Simone de Beauvoir’s theory of alterity has been the topic of much discussion within Beauvoir scholarship, feminist theory, and social and political philosophy, it has not commonly been a reference point for those working within ethics. However, Beauvoir develops a novel view that those concerned with the ethical import of respect for others should consider seriously, especially those working within the Levinasian tradition. I claim that Beauvoir distinguishes between two forms of otherness: namely, existential alterity and sociopolitical alterity. While (...)
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  • The Use and Abuse of Simone de Beauvoir: Re-Evaluating the French Poststructuralist Critique.Elaine Stavro - 1999 - European Journal of Women's Studies 6 (3):263-280.
    For many years poststructuralist feminists have denounced Simone de Beauvoir as a `universal humanist' who denies sexual difference and inscribes woman in a masculine discourse. Returning to the original exchanges between de Beauvoir and the French feminists of difference, where this dismissive attitude began, it is seen that de Beauvoir circulates in their discourse as representative of a bygone eraan embodiment of all that has been surpassed. Their criticisms of de Beauvoir prove for the most part, glib and disingenuous and (...)
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  • A Philosopher Manqué?: Simone de Beauvoir, Moral Value and ‘The Useless Mouths’.Liz Stanley - 2001 - European Journal of Women's Studies 8 (2):201-220.
    In discussing Simone de Beauvoir’s ontological ethics in an earlier article in this journal, the author suggested in passing that she could be seen as a ‘philosopher manqué’, a ‘lost’ or ‘missed’ philosopher, a woman who gave up or rejected philosophy to pursue ideas by better means for her purposes. Here the author explores the idea of de Beauvoir as a philosopher manqué in relation to her play Les Bouches inutiles, using a translation-in-progress into English, The Useless Mouths, to examine (...)
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  • Rejecting the Legend, Rereading de Beauvoir, Reworking Existentialism: The Case for Ontological Ethics.Liz Stanley - 1996 - European Journal of Women's Studies 3 (4):423-449.
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  • The Second Sex's Continued Relevance for Equality and Difference Feminisms.Nadine Changfoot - 2009 - European Journal of Women's Studies 16 (1):11-31.
    This article argues that Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex continues to teach academic feminism why difference feminism holds productive and generative potential for feminists and why equality feminism has been consistently subject to criticism since the second wave of feminism. Using Hegel's master—slave dialectic as a lens to interpret subjectivity in The Second Sex, this text reveals an aspect of equality feminism that relies upon masculine subjectivity, a subjectivity that inherently constitutes otherness. This reliance on masculine subjectivity is anathema (...)
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  • Whose Body Matters? Feminist Sociology and the Corporeal Turn in Sociology and Feminism.Anne Witz - 2000 - Body and Society 6 (2):1-24.
    This article proposes that the urgent task for feminist sociology is to recuperate those lost or residual `body matters' which lurk, unattended to, on the sidelines of the social. Feminist sociology must carefully negotiate the complex space between sociality and corporeality. The new feminist philosophies of the body tend sometimes to grate against this project by valorizing the body but de-valorizing gender. The new sociology of the body is recuperating the body within sociology, but pays insufficient attention to the ways (...)
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  • Thinking Feminism with and Against Bourdieu.Terry Lovell - 2000 - Feminist Theory 1 (1):11-32.
    This article argues that a positive engagement between Bourdieu’s sociology of practice and contemporary feminist theory would be mutually profitable. It compares Bourdieu’s account of the social construction of the human subject through practice with Butler’s account of subjectivity as performance. While the one, through the concept of habitus, tends towards an ‘overdetermined’ view of subjectivity in which subjective dispositions are too tightly tied to the social practices in which they were forged, the other pays insufficient attention to the social (...)
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  • Feminism and the Matter of Bodies: From de Beauvoir to Butler.Alex Hughes & Anne Witz - 1997 - Body and Society 3 (1):47-60.
  • Who's Who and Where's Where: Constructing Feminist Literary Studies.Mary Eagleton - 1996 - Feminist Review 53 (1):1-23.
    This article is concerned with the construction of feminist literary studies in the last twenty years and points out how we have created a literary history which is both selective and schematic. It suggests that we should be more critically aware of what we are constructing, how we are constructing it and of the political consequences of those constructs. It stresses three critical modes which might help us to complicate our history: a greater awareness of institutional contexts, a concern with (...)
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  • Beauvoirian Androgyny: Reflections on the Androgynous World of Fraternité in The Second Sex.Megan M. Burke - 2019 - Feminist Theory 20 (1):3-18.
    This article considers Beauvoir’s gesture towards fraternité at the end of The Second Sex by focusing on her fleeting characterisation of this future as ‘an androgynous world’. Generally, either Beauvoir’s call for fraternité is dismissed as an erasure of sexual difference and is thus seen to be politically bankrupt, or fraternité is understood to realise sexual difference. This latter reading suggests that androgyny plays no role in Beauvoir’s solution to women’s oppression, while the other view often sees it as one (...)
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  • Transcendence in Simone de Beauvoir's the Second Sex: Revisiting Masculinist Ontology.Nadine Changfoot - 2009 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 35 (4):391-410.
    A large number of feminist philosophers and social critics accept that Simone de Beauvoir's conception of transcendence in The Second Sex relies on masculinist ontology. In contrast with feminist interpretations that see Beauvoir claiming the success of masculinist ontology, this article argues that transcendence as masculinist ontology does not succeed in The Second Sex because it requires a relation of domination, something contrary to its own definition of freedom-producing relations. The Second Sex obliquely reveals this failure, but Beauvoir does not (...)
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  • Bad Faith and the Other.Jonathan Webber - 2011 - In Reading Sartre: On Phenomenology and Existentialism. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 180-194.
    One of the characteristic features of Sartre’s philosophical writing, especially in Being and Nothingness, is his use of extended narrative vignettes that immediately resound with the reader’s own experience yet are intended to illustrate, perhaps also to support, complex and controversial claims about the structures of conscious experience and the shape of the human condition. Among the best known are his description of Parisian café waiters, who somehow contrive to caricature themselves, and his analysis of feeling shame upon being caught (...)
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  • The Sex of Nature: A Reinterpretation of Irigaray's Metaphysics and Political Thought.Alison Stone - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (3):60-84.
    I argue that Irigaray's recent work develops a theoretically cogent and politically radical form of realist essentialism. I suggest that she identifies sexual difference with a fundamental difference between the rhythms of percipient fluids constituting women's and men's bodies, supporting this with a philosophy of nature that she justifies phenomenologically and ethically. I explore the politics Irigaray derives from this philosophy, which affirms the sexes' rights to realize the possibilities of their rhythmically diverse bodies.
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  • Beauvoir, Hegel, War.Meryl Altman - 2007 - Hypatia 22 (3):66-91.
    The importance of Hegel to the philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir, both to her early philosophical texts and to The Second Sex, is usually discussed in terms of the master-slave dialectic and a Kojève-influenced reading, which some see her as sharing with Sartre, others persuasively describe as divergent from and corrective to Sartre's. Altman shows that Hegel's influence on Beauvoir's work is also wider, both in terms of what she takes on board and what she works through and rejects, and (...)
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  • Beauvoir, Hegel, War.Meryl Altman - 2007 - Hypatia 22 (3):66-91.
    The importance of Hegel to the philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir, both to her early philosophical texts and to The Second Sex, is usually discussed in terms of the master-slave dialectic and a Kojève-influenced reading, which some see her as sharing with Sartre, others persuasively describe as divergent from and corrective to Sartre's. Altman shows that Hegel's influence on Beauvoir's work is also wider, both in terms of what she takes on board and what she works through and rejects, and (...)
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  • Simone de Beauvoir and the Politics of Privilege.Sonia Kruks - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (1):178-205.
    How should socially privileged white feminists address their privilege? Often, individuals are urged to overcome their own personal racism through a politics of self-transformation. The paper argues that this strategy may be problematic, since it rests on an over-autonomous conception of the self. The paper turns to Simone de Beauvoir for an alternative account of the self, as “situated,” and explores what this means for a politics of privilege.
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  • Simone de Beauvoir and the Politics of Privilege.Sonia Kruks - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (1):178-205.
    : How should socially privileged white feminists (and others) address their privilege? Often, individuals are urged to overcome their own personal racism through a politics of self-transformation. The paper argues that this strategy may be problematic, since it rests on an over-autonomous conception of the self. The paper turns to Simone de Beauvoir for an alternative account of the self, as "situated," and explores what this means for a politics of privilege.
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  • The Blood of Others: A Novel Approach to The Ethics of Ambiguity.Eleanore Holveck - 1999 - Hypatia 14 (4):3-17.
    This article shows that the relationship between Simone de Beauvoir's novel, Le Sang des autres, first published in 1945, and her essay, Pour une morale de l'ambiguïté, first published in 1947, illustrates her point in “Littérature et métaphysique” that an abstract philosophical theory is grounded in immediate metaphysical experience. An original ethical position emerges from Hélène Bertrand's lived experience in the novel, which anticipates feminist issues addressed in The Second Sex more directly than does Beauvoir's essay.
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  • The Blood of Others: A Novel Approach to The Ethics of Ambiguity.Eleanore Holveck - 1999 - Hypatia 14 (4):3-17.
    This article shows that the relationship between Simone de Beauvoir's novel, Le Sang des autres, first published in 1945, and her essay, Pour une morale de l'ambiguïté, first published in 1947, illustrates her point in “Littérature et métaphysique” that an abstract philosophical theory is grounded in immediate metaphysical experience. An original ethical position emerges from Hélène Bertrand's lived experience in the novel, which anticipates feminist issues addressed in The Second Sex more directly than does Beauvoir's essay.
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  • Beauvoir-in-America: Understanding, Concrete Experience, and Beauvoir's Appropriation of Heidegger in America Day by Day.Alexander Ruch - 2009 - Hypatia 24 (4):104-129.
    This paper reads Simone de Beauvoir's travel journal America Day by Day for its philosophical content. I argue that this work provides a unique approach to feminist, embodied philosophy, one that has been overlooked by the categorization of her writing into philosophical works and feminist ones. Such an approach, I contend, is enacted here through her use of Heidegger's concept of the everyday to inform her own treatment of understanding and experience.
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  • The Viability of the Philosophical Novel: The Case of Simone de Beauvoir's She Came to Stay.Ashley King Scheu - 2012 - Hypatia 27 (4):791-809.
    This article begins by asking if the project to write a philosophical novel is not inherently flawed; it would seem that the novelist must either write an ambiguous text, which would not create a strong enough argument to count as philosophy, or she must write a text with a clear argument, which would not be ambiguous enough to count as good fiction. The only other option available would be to exemplify a preexisting abstract philosophical system in the concrete literary world. (...)
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  • Paradoxes of Femininity in the Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir.Ulrika Björk - 2010 - Continental Philosophy Review 43 (1):39-60.
    This article explicates the meaning of the paradox from the perspective of sexual difference, as articulated by Simone de Beauvoir. I claim that the self, the other, and their becoming are sexed in Beauvoir’s early literary writing before the question of sexual difference is posed in The Second Sex (1949). In particular, Beauvoir’s description of Françoise’s subjective becoming in the novel She Came to Stay (1943) anticipates her later systematic description of ‘the woman in love’. In addition, I argue that (...)
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  • Adventures of Feminism: Simone de Beauvoir's Autobiographies, Women's Liberation, and Self-Fashioning.Ann Curthoys - 2000 - Feminist Review 64 (1):3-18.
    While The Second Sex is usually taken as Simone de Beauvoir's major theoretical contribution to feminism, in the 1960s and 1970s it was very often through her autobiographies – especially Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, The Prime of Life, and Force of Circumstance, along with novels such as She Came to Stay and The Mandarins – that her feminist ideas were most thoroughly absorbed. The autobiographies became nothing less than a guide for the fashioning of a new kind of feminine (...)
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  • Book Review: Elizabeth Fallaize.Simone de Beauvoir: A Critical Reader. London and New York: Routledge, 1998. [REVIEW]Kristana Arp - 1999 - Hypatia 14 (4):186-191.
  • Beauvoir and Bergson: A Question of Influence.Margaret A. Simons - 2012 - In Shannon M. Mussett & William S. Wilkerson (eds.), Beauvoir and Western Thought From Plato to Butler. pp. 153-170.
    Simone de Beauvoir’s early enthusiasm for the philosophy of Henri Bergson (1859-1941)—denied in her 1958 autobiography, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter—is a surprising discovery in her 1927 handwritten student diary, as I reported in 1999 and explored at more length in 2003 (Simons 1999; Simons 2003). Discovered by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir after Beauvoir’s death in 1986 and now housed in the Bibliothèque nationale, Beauvoir’s student diary first appeared in print in the 2006 volume, Diary of a Philosophy Student: (...)
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