There are many women who participate in philosophy such as Simon de Beauvoir, Mary Wollstonecraft and many others. Their main intent was to battle for the privileges of the women and to encourage equality in the society in areas such as politics, education, and economics. The main philosopher that will be concentrated upon is Simon De Beauvoir. They expressed their views of the population in ways such as poems, songs, playwright and novels in many ways. Simone de Beauvoir was a well-known writer and being an existential philosopher in France. She did her work with other existential philosopher such as Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre. Her books ranged from feminism, politics, fiction and ethics.
SIMON DE BEAUVOIR
History of Simon de Beauvoir
On January 9th 1908 Simon was born in the town of Paris France. Her father was George Bertrand de Beauvoir who worked as a legal secretary despite having studied law. This was never a passion of his since he wanted to be an actor. The reason for him not to do acting was because of the family pressure that saw this as a conservative. Her mother’s name was Françoise Brasseur who was very religious as a catholic Gower. They had two children Simon and Helene. When Simon was a little girl, she showed how intelligent she was and her interest in learning. This caused her father and her to have a unique relationship which caused him to give her books to read and also taught her how to write at a very early age. This relationship went on until when she was an adolescent.
This is when she decided to be an atheist and committed herself to be a writer. She went to all girls’ Catholic school known as the institute Adeline desire. While she was still in this school, she met up with a girl named Elizabeth mobile whom they instantly connected and became good friends. Their friendship ended the day that Elizabeth died of meningitis complication according to the doctors (Mussett). However, Simon did not think that that was the cause but instead she thought that she died of a broken heart because of the forced or arranged marriage. This made her condemn this kind of oppression against women in her later life. In 1925, she did well in her baccalaureate exams, which was for both mathematics and philosophy.
In 1927, that is when she went to study for philosophy in Sorbonne. She did well in all her examinations including the practice of teaching. She competed in one of the most competitive philosophy exams and came in second place after jean Paul Sartre who will later become one of her closest friends and presumed lovers until the day he died. It was believed that her relationship with both men and women (Gray). Some of those notable relations were Nelson Algren; Jacques boost who was a renowned journalist, Claude Lanzmann the man who made a documentary about the holocaust. In 1932, she went to teach literature and philosophy in Rouen but was soon criticized of her ways of teaching which was mostly feminism women fighting for their rights.
During the Nazi regime, which was in 1940, she was fired because of her feminist teachings. Due to the Second World War, she used her brilliance to venture into other fields such as politics and social. This was because the world had changed in that there were many problems that affected the economy and society. In 1943, there was a parent who claimed that she was spoiling or corrupting her daughter with her ideas. This was to be her last time to teach ever in any classroom institution. The short stories, which she had written when she was younger, had all been rejected by the publication. A good example of one of her short stories that was published in 1979 was the Quand Prime Le Spiritual. After her teaching days were over, she began concentrating on her other dream that was to write novels.
Simon de Beauvoir philosophical contribution
Simon is said to be an existential philosopher as well as a social theorist, political activist, and feminist. Simon sees herself as more of a writer compared to philosopher. Sartre was the one who introduced Simon to the philosophical world where she was introduced to other existential philosophers. Simon was very ethical in terms of how people are toward themselves and others especially those who are oppressed. One of her philosophical works that mainly dwelt with ethical issues was Pyrrhus ET Cineas that was written in 1944. This work answers questions regarding the ethical responsibility from an existential framework. This was done before her interaction with Sartre. This work was welcomed in France due to the instability of the country that was brought about by the World War II.
The essay begins with the conversation of the ancient king of Epirus, the chief advisor and Pyrrhus about the question of the action and the existential concern of why they should act at all. The essay answers questions such as what are the criteria of a particular ethical issue. What are the main beliefs of moral connection? When Simon was younger, that is when she wrote this essay when in consult with Sartre being and nothingness. The essay talks about the individual freedom that is found in the world that compares to the Sartre works that brings about the conflict of both being in itself or Letre Pour Soi and the being in itself is also known as Letre en Soi.
The works between Sartre and Simon differ because according the Simon work analysis the free subject is said to be the ethical issue found the world. The answers to the question in the essay by Simon are that no one has the right to others or their freedoms but she claims that a person’s actions will depend how others treat them. The major themes of this essay have been derived from other philosophers such as Hegel, Kierkegaard and Sartre. She is well known to criticize other philosophers work such as Hegel who has unethical faith in regards to progress. In this essay, Simon was trying to uphold the existential principle about the freedom of one’s choice and the responsibility it will take from within a person and not from authority or another person. This therefore shows that in this essay she was concentrating on freedom.
The ethics of ambiguity that was formulated in 1947 continues with the same themes of Pyrrhus ET Cineas. The ethic of ambiguity according Simon was a continuation of the problems led by oppression, the responsibility of people and the freedom of individuals (Mussett). She believes that the way people live is not in accordance with their freedom but rather is due to the external factors that govern them in their daily lives. This therefore, means people do not have control over their lives because they are rules, which must be followed in order for one to live ethically.
This is an idea that Simon used to criticize Hegel who believes that people should escape their freedom through accepting the external factors such as authority. According to Simon the philosophy that has appreciated peoples freedom then it can be considered ethical. According to Simon, children cannot be considered ethical this is because their parents or elder give children’s value and also they do not have a past or future in which they think about. This is known as the attitude of seriousness. The ethical ambiguity is a book concentrates on the questions regarding the ethical responsibility and the oppression of the people of the era when World War II ended. She showed that since children are provided with values then they run a risk of being mislead into joining the Nazi regime. She is then able to educate individuals that existential ethics of individuals have to be determined by the adults and not children because they have a past, future and also the present.
Feminism in the second sex
This is one of the philosophical works that gained widespread recognition. This was met with different reactions thus caused the Vatican to prohibit the book. This book concentrated about the treatment and oppression of women. This has become one the most used philosophy books in the women’s study. There are two different intentions for the book when it comes to the equality question. In the first point, she points out that men have their own ideology for either men or women, which they use to exploit women (Gray). The second point she makes is that the ways in which people argue about the equality it then loses its initial plan thus makes the masculinity more superior. This was specifically written to contradict Plato’s way of thinking when it comes to equality where he says that for both men and women to be equal then the women have changed their ways and be more like men.
Simon de Beauvoir has written a quite number of literature ranging from books, theatre and short stories. Most of the books and articles were written beginning 1943 where she wrote the L’Invitee that means that she came to stay. Pyrrhus ET Cineas written in 1944. Le sang des Autres written in 1945 that is also called the blood of others. Who shall die written in 1945? Tous Les homes sont mortel that was written in 1946 and change to English name all men are mortal (Bergoffen). Pour une morale De L’ambiguite that was written in 1947 and given an English name as the ethics of ambiguity. Le Deuxieme six that was written in 1949 and later was called as the American day by day. The mandarins that were published in 1954. The memoirs of dutiful daughter written in 1958. The force of circumstance written in 1963.Les belles images written in 1966, the woman destroyed in 1967. When things of the spirit come first written in 1979. The letters to Sartre that was published in 1990.
In conclusion Simone De Beauvior was one of the existential feminist philosophers who had major success throughout her life. She was born in 1908 and died of pulmonary edema 1986. When she was a child her father was close to her thus introduced her to literally a world. She dedicated her life to a philosophy where she was able to write a bunch of books. Simone met up with satire in a competition where she was second place after Sartre. They become good friends and lovers until the day she died. In her philosophical works she covered themes of oppression, ethical issues, politics because it was in the era where world war II had just ended and feminism. Most of her work was feminism existential philosophy where she rebuked the oppression of women.
Bergoffen, Debra. The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir. November 1996.
Gray, Francine Du Plessix. Dispatches From the Other. 27 May 2010.
Mussett, Shannon. Simone de Beauvoir (1908—1986). 22 January 2003.
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