The Voice of Ambiguity: Simone de Beauvoir's Literary and Phenomenological Echoes

Hypatia 30 (2):418-433 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this essay we investigate several moments in Simone de Beauvoir's philosophical and literary texts in which she refers to echoes and echoing. We notice that echoes help Beauvoir to figure and amplify the ethical character of her concept of ambiguity, which is so central to her thought. We argue that, for Beauvoir, literature has privileged access to the ambiguity of existence and therefore maintains a special status in exposing us to alterity and bringing us face to face with ethical responsibility. Considering her literary portrayals of echoing helps to explain why, despite her life-long philosophical engagement, Beauvoir preferred not to call herself a philosopher. Finally, Beauvoir's phenomenological insight is that in order to carry ethical resonance, the form of a written work must mirror the fundamentally ambiguous or echolalic ontological structure of human existence



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,168

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

From Shame towards an Ethics of Ambiguity.Ruth Kitchen - 2013 - Sartre Studies International 19 (1):55-70.
11 Beauvoir on the ambiguity of evil.Robin May Schott - 2003 - In Claudia Card (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Simone de Beauvoir. Cambridge University Press. pp. 228.
Stacy Keltner.Beauvoir'S. Idea Of Ambiguity - 2006 - In Margaret A. Simons (ed.), The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir: Critical Essays. Indiana University Press.
4 Beauvoir and Merleau-Ponty on ambiguity.Monika Langer - 2003 - In Claudia Card (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Simone de Beauvoir. Cambridge University Press. pp. 87.


Added to PP

23 (#501,637)

6 months
2 (#297,430)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Alexandra Morrison
Michigan Technological University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Sein Und Zeit.Martin Heidegger (ed.) - 1935 - M. Niemeyer.
Signs.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 2018 - Chiasmi International 20:231-231.
Sein und Zeit.Martin Heidegger - 1928 - Annalen der Philosophie Und Philosophischen Kritik 7:161-161.
Limited Inc.Jacques Derrida - 1988 - Northwestern University Press.

View all 24 references / Add more references