The importance of Hegel to the philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir, both to her early philosophical texts and to The Second Sex, is usually discussed in terms of the master-slave dialectic and a Kojève–influenced reading, which some see her as sharing with Sartre, others persuasively describe as divergent from and corrective to Sartre's. Altman shows that Hegel's influence on Beauvoir's work is also wider, both in terms of what she takes on board and what she works through and rejects, and that her reading of Hegel is crucially inflected by two additional circumstances that Sartre did not entirely share: the experience of her first serious study of Hegel as a noncombatant in Paris during the German occupation and her earlier direct exposure to an eccentric, idealist reading of Hegel as developed by the group Philosophies in connection with surrealism and the artistic avant-garde. Altman also explores the afterlife of Hegel's influence on Beauvoir on second-wave feminism in the United States and Europe, and suggests continuing relevance to feminist theory today.


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pp. 66-91
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2009
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