Beauvoir's Metaphysical Novel: Literature, Philosophy, and Ambiguity

In Ann Ward (ed.), Socrates and Dionysus: Philosophy and Art in Dialogue. Cambridge Scholars Press (2013)

Anna E. Mudde
University of Regina
In this essay, I explore the ways that Beauvoir’s description of philosophical novels reveals her understanding of consciousness as a particular sort of ambiguity: that which not only gives the world meaning, but which also, necessarily, finds meaning in the world through the values, ideas, and objects given to it by others. It is through the philosophical (metaphysical) novel that Beauvoir finds a medium for the philosophical communication of ambiguity – that is, a medium for writing human being. More specifically, I consider the metaphysical stance Beauvoir is able to describe because of her commitment to philosophical literature. In writing, and in reading, fiction, what is manifest is both found and given, discovered and created; and the metaphysics of the novel offers a way to read philosophy as poeisis, poetry in the sense of bringing-forth or revealing worldly meaning, in ways that are ambiguously particular and universal.
Keywords literature  ambiguity  metaphysics  Beauvoir  consciousness
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,975
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

From Shame Towards an Ethics of Ambiguity.Ruth Kitchen - 2013 - Sartre Studies International 19 (1):55-70.
Abjection and Ambiguity: Simone de Beauvoir's Legacy.Tina Chanter - 2000 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 14 (2):138-155.


Added to PP index

Total views
3 ( #1,352,485 of 2,498,296 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #426,910 of 2,498,296 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes