Thinking with Beauvoir on the Freedom of the Child

Hypatia 31 (1):140-155 (2016)

Authors
Lior Levy
University of Haifa
Abstract
Among philosophers, Simone de Beauvoir is unique in treating childhood as a philosophical phenomenon. In both The Ethics of Ambiguity and The Second Sex, she examines the relationship between childhood and human freedom and considers its role in the development of subjectivity. Despite this, few sustained analyses of her treatment of the phenomenon exist. I argue that Beauvoir's conception of childhood is not uniform, but changes from The Ethics of Ambiguity to The Second Sex. Whereas the former presents children as lacking moral freedom, as not fully sovereign individuals, the latter suggests that children are just as free as adults. When children do not fully possess or exercise freedom, it is not because they are not in a position to do so, but rather because various social institutions hinder them. I find this position useful for developing a phenomenological account of childhood as a site for freedom. Hence, Beauvoir becomes a source for thinking of issues in philosophical anthropology concerning the temporality of human existence and the nature of human agency over a lifespan
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/hypa.12220
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 41,608
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Eudemian Ethics. Aristotle - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
What is a Child?Tamar Schapiro - 1999 - Ethics 109 (4):715–738.
Civilization and its Discontents.Sigmund Freud - 1952/1930 - In John Martin Rich (ed.), Readings in the Philosophy of Education. Belmont, Calif., Wadsworth Pub. Co..

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Creation Of Meaning: Simone De Beauvoir’s Existentialist Ethics.Pauline O'flynn - 2009 - Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy 13:67-84.
Existence, Freedom, and the Festival.SallyJ Scholz - 2012 - In Shannon M. Mussett & William S. Wilkerson (eds.), Beauvoir and Western Thought From Plato to Butler. pp. 35.
From Hostility to Hope: Beauvoir's Joyful Turn to Hegel in The Ethics of Ambiguity.C. Sims - 2012 - South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (4):676-691.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-11-05

Total views
11 ( #663,012 of 2,249,323 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #794,900 of 2,249,323 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature