Living Experiments: Beauvoir, Freedom, and Science

PhaenEx 10:57-75 (2015)
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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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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.
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.
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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