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Beauvoir and Sartre

The Riddle of Influence

Edited by Christine Daigle and Jacob Golomb

Publication Year: 2009

While many scholars consider Simone de Beauvoir an important philosopher in her own right, thorny issues of mutual influence between her thought and that of Jean-Paul Sartre still have not been settled definitively. Some continue to believe Beauvoir's own claim that Sartre was the philosopher and she was the follower even though their relationship was far more complex than this proposition suggests. Christine Daigle, Jacob Golomb, and an international group of scholars explore the philosophical and literary relationship between Beauvoir and Sartre in this penetrating volume. Did each elaborate a philosophy of his or her own? Did they share a single philosophy? Did the ideas of each have an impact on the other? How did influences develop and what was their nature? Who influenced whom most of all? A crisscrossed picture of mutual intricacies and significant differences emerges from the skillful and sophisticated exchange that takes place here.

Published by: Indiana University Press


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix

Christine Daigle would like to thank her partner, Eric Gignac. Without his understanding and good spirits, this work would not have been possible. Her heartfelt thanks also go to Jacob, who initiated this project and was such a pleasure to work with. A better project partner is not conceivable. ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xii

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pp. 1-12

This collection of original essays explores a thorny question: the philosophical and literary relationship between Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. These two flamboyant intellectuals have marked the philosophical, literary, and political scene of twentieth-century Europe and are still infuential today in various fields. ...

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1. Getting the Beauvoir We Deserve

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pp. 13-29

The Second Sex may be read as driven by a simple question: Why don’t women rebel? Or, in Beauvoir’s words, “Why is it that women do not dispute male sovereignty? . . . Whence comes this submission . . . of women” (SS, xviv)?1 Insofar as it concerns the matter of exploitation, women, like other dominated groups, are marked as the Other. ...

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2. Where Influence Fails: Embodiment in Beauvoir and Sartre

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pp. 30-48

In an article on Sartre’s sexist psychoanalysis, Margery Collins and Christine Pierce begin by stating that “Sartre’s view of human nature and relationships would seem, on the face of things, to preclude such sexist bias. Moreover, one suspects that the vigilance of Simone de Beauvoir might have prevented such a disaster.”1 ...

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3. The Question of Reciprocal Self-Abandon to the Other: Beauvoir’s Influence on Sartre

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pp. 49-64

The question of reciprocal self-abandon to the other might appear inconsequential when one deals with the question of the influence of Sartre on Beauvoir or vice versa. Yet, as will become evident below, it is at the very core of each’s vécu (lived experience), and each’s pensée—that is, the evolution of their individual oeuvres. ...

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4. Beauvoir and Sartre on Freedom, Intersubjectivity, and Normative Justification

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pp. 65-89

Recognition does not come without a fight. Over the past twenty or so years, a group of professional philosophers, primarily but not exclusively composed of women, have worked diligently to move Simone de Beauvoir out of the shadow cast by Jean-Paul Sartre and to establish her as a philosopher worthy of our attention.1 ...

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5. Sartre and Beauvoir on Hegel’s Master-Slave Dialectic and the Question of the “Look”

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pp. 90-115

As several feminist critics have commented, Hegel’s Master-Slave dialectic, which he foregrounds in his magnum opus, The Phenomenology of Spirit, is a privileged textual motif in the work of both Sartre and Beauvoir.1 It first appears in Beauvoir’s novel She Came to Stay, where the Master-Slave relation is principally re-enacted between the characters of Françoise and Xavière. ...

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6. Beauvoir, Sartre, and Patriarchy’s History of Ideas

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pp. 116-127

Beauvoir spoke from bitter personal experience. Few women have suffered more than Beauvoir from the consequences of this shift in the tactics of sexism. Before the publication of The Second Sex in 1949, Beauvoir was recognized, celebrated, and read as an innovative philosopher on both sides of the Atlantic. ...

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7. Psychoanalysis of Things: Objective Meanings or Subjective Projections?

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pp. 128-142

At the end of Being and Nothingness, Sartre outlines a new philosophical approach that he calls “psychoanalysis of things”; its aim is to disclose meanings inherent in things themselves (EN, 646; BN, 765).1 Sartre is not concerned with images, memories, or fantasies of empirical individuals, but aims at capturing the modes of being that belong to things themselves ...

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8. Beauvoir, Sartre, and the Problem of Alterity

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pp. 143-159

Feminist scholars of Beauvoir’s works have had to wage a difficult campaign in order to have her philosophical work’s originality and importance recognized. As far as I am concerned, the battle has been won; I am quite content to leave all those who persist in believing otherwise to their own devices. ...

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9. Moving beyond Sartre: Constraint and Judgment in Beauvoir’s “Moral Essays” and The Mandarins

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pp. 160-179

Among her novels, Simone de Beauvoir thought most highly of The Mandarins, while among her nonfiction works (which she usually referred to as “essays”) she most approved of The Second Sex. When comparing her early novel The Blood of Others (completed in 1943) with The Mandarins (completed in 1953), ...

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10. Simone de Beauvoir’s “Marguerite” as a Possible Source of Inspiration for Jean-Paul Sartre’s “The Childhood of a Leader”

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pp. 180-188

The relationship between Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre continues to fascinate both scholars and casual readers.1 Beyond the obvious questions brought up by their lovers’ pact, there is also the problem of discerning how each influenced the other intellectually. The necessary reevaluation of their relationship, ...

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11. Taking a Distance: Exploring Some Points of Divergence between Beauvoir and Sartre

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pp. 189-202

“Merleau-Ponty et le pseudo-sartrisme” shows us Simone de Beauvoir at once at her best and at her worst. As she indicated in the famous and frequently cited autobiographical text in which she explained why she supposedly chose a literary rather than a philosophical career ...

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12. Anne, ou quand prime le spirituel: Beauvoir and Sartre Interact—from Parody, Satire, and Tragedy to Manifesto of Liberation

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pp. 203-221

In the 1930s Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre were both working on their first literary works. Beauvoir was crafting a collection of short stories based on her adolescence and career as a budding lyc

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13. The Concept of Transcendence in Beauvoir and Sartre

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pp. 222-240

Scholars of twentieth-century French existentialism have traditionally assumed that Simone de Beauvoir borrows her concept of transcendence from the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre. In this chapter, I work to demonstrate that Beauvoir develops her concept of transcendence independently of Sartre, ...

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14. Freedom F/Or the Other

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pp. 241-254

In the passages above, both Beauvoir and Sartre indissolubly link freedom to the Other. It is clear, for both philosophers, that freedom is always lived, that is, embodied and expressed, within an intersubjective context. And yet Beauvoir and Sartre offer very different views of this fundamental connection ...


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pp. 255-270

List of Contributors

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pp. 271-274


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pp. 275-280

E-ISBN-13: 9780253002839
E-ISBN-10: 0253002834
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253352651

Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2009