Living Experiments: Beauvoir, Freedom, and Science

PhaenEx 10:57-75 (2015)
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Abstract

In this paper, I argue for reading Simone de Beauvoir’s call, in The Ethics of Ambiguity, to assume our ambiguity as a call to live experimentally. This paper has three mutually reliant strands of analysis: first, I draw attention to and catalogue some instances of Beauvoir’s use of scientific example; second, I derive, from a close and intertwined reading of those examples, implications about ambiguous subjectivity; in order to, third, suggest that those implications lead to the idea that the demand to assume our ambiguity can be read as a demand to take up an experimental ethos. I show that such an ethos is predicated on making claims about a world that always escapes us, in which freedom is concretely engaged as the capacity to find and make meaning.

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Anna E. Mudde
University of Regina

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References found in this work

Introduction to Beauvoir's "Analysis of Claude Bernard's Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine".Margaret A. Simons & Helene N. Peters - 2004 - In Margaret A. Simons, Marybeth Timmermann & Mary Beth Mader (eds.), Philosophical Writings. University of Illinois Press. pp. 15-22.
6 Philosophy in Beauvoir's fiction.Mary Sirridge - 2003 - In Claudia Card (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Simone de Beauvoir. Cambridge University Press. pp. 129.
A Review of the Phenomenology of Perception by Maurice Merleau-Ponty. [REVIEW]De Beauvoir Simone - 2004 - In Margaret A. Simons (ed.). University of Illinois Press.

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