Beauvoir and The Second Sex: Feminism, Race, and the Origins of Existentialism (Paperback)
  • Beauvoir and The Second Sex: Feminism, Race, and the Origins of Existentialism (Paperback)
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Beauvoir and The Second Sex: Feminism, Race, and the Origins of Existentialism (Paperback)

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£32.00
Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 07/04/2001
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In a compelling chronicle of her search to understand Beauvoir's philosophy in The Second Sex, Margaret A. Simons offers a unique perspective on BeauvoirOs wide-ranging contribution to twentieth-century thought. She details the discovery of the origins of Beauvoir's existential philosophy in her handwritten diary from 1927; uncovers evidence of the sexist exclusion of Beauvoir from the philosophical canon; reveals evidence that the African-American writer Richard Wright provided Beauvoir with the theoretical model of oppression that she used in The Second Sex; shows the influence of The Second Sex in transforming Sartre's philosophy and in laying the theoretical foundations of radical feminism; and addresses feminist issues of racism, motherhood, and lesbian identity. Simons also draws on her experience as a WomenOs Liberation organizer as she witnessed how women used The Second Sex in defining the foundations of radical feminism. Bringing together her work as both activist and scholar, Simons offers a highly original contribution to the renaissance of Beauvoir scholarship.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742512467
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 349 g
Dimensions: 221 x 140 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
The best cutting-edge introduction to Beauvoir studies today. -- Carlin Romano * The Philadelphia Inquirer *
Simons opens a new chapter in Beauvoir scholarship; for her careful and considered readings of the newly discovered 1927 diary introduces us to the young Beauvoir taking up the project of becoming a philosopher and shows us that the roots of Beauvoir's distinct philosophical positions are laid in these early years. -- Debra B. Bergoffen, author of The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir
Beauvoir scholarship in the U.S. owes more to Peg Simons than to any other individual scholar. Her work remains at the leading edge of the recent 'recovery' of Beauvoir by providing new texts and contexts for understanding the emergence of her philosophy. This collection of essays reveals Simons' brilliance in providing nuanced readings of Beauvoir that richly situate her work within both the philosophical and the feminist traditions. -- Nancy Tuana, Editor, NEWSLETTER ON FEMINISM AND PHILOSOPHY
In this book Simons, long ago convinced of Beauvoir's influence on Satre and her importance as a philosopher in her own right, sums up over twenty years of feminist scholarship. She also amplifies our recognition of Beauvoir's involvement with the question of racial oppression. This is a valuable contribution indeed! -- Jessica Benjamin, author of Shadow of the Other
Beauvior and The Second Sex: Feminism, Race, and the Origins of Existentialism is an important contribution to a genealogy of feminist philosophy and a model for feminist philosophers in its thoughtfulness, fairness, and attention to detail. It chronicles a series of important discoveries and insightful analyses about Beauvior's work, and is likely to inspire more. -- Marguerite La Caze * Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy *
In this book, Margaret Simons has done a critical service for philosophers and for feminists in filling out the story of Beauvoir's philosophy and contributions to the development of existentialism. Beauvoir's relationship with Richard Wright was an important aspect of her intellectual life that has been neglected by feminists for too long. And the early journal entries that Simons has uncovered to substantiate the claim that Beauvoir originated many key existential concepts are fascinating. Simons makes a carefully argued case without unwarranted extrapolations or hyperbole; in my mind, her arguments are decisive. Sartre certainly developed existentialism into a coherent theory, but it was Beauvoir's philosophical insights that made this theory the powerful influence it became. This book will become the classic work on this subject. -- Linda Alcoff, Syracuse University
Simon's work has been and continues to be important in the overall understanding of Beauvoir as a philosopher. The significance of this book for Beauvoir scholarship is immense. The significance of this book for continental philosophy in the United States is remarkably great. Simons illustrates the complexity of Beauvoir's philosophy, banishes those who would silence Beauvoir, and brings out the lasting importance of her thought. * Journal of Speculative Philosophy *
In challenging Beauvoir's constructed identity, Simons, by taking up Beauvoir's demand to philosophize from lived experience, secures a place for both Beauvoir and herself within the lived realities of contemporary philosophical and feminist debate. * International Studies in Philosophy *

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