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

Hypatia 30 (2):418-433 (2015)
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Abstract

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

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Alexandra Morrison
Michigan Technological University

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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.

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