Beauvoir and Western Thought from Plato to Butler

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Shannon M. Mussett, William S. Wilkerson
SUNY Press, Dec 1, 2012 - Philosophy - 248 pages
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Essays on Beauvoirs influences, contemporary engagements, and legacy in the philosophical tradition.

Despite a deep familiarity with the philosophical tradition and despite the groundbreaking influence of her own work, Simone de Beauvoir never embraced the idea of herself as a philosopher. Her legacy is similarly complicated. She is acclaimed as a revolutionary thinker on issues of gender, age, and oppression, but although much has been written weighing the influence she and Jean-Paul Sartre had on one another, the extent and sophistication of her engagement with the Western tradition broadly goes mostly unnoticed. This volume turns the spotlight on exactly that, examining Beauvoirs dialogue with her influences and contemporaries, as well as her impact on later thinkersconcluding with an autobiographical essay by bell hooks discussing the influence of Beauvoirs philosophy and life on her own work and career. These innovative essays both broaden our understanding of Beauvoir and suggest new ways of understanding canonical figures through the lens of her work.


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Editors Introduction
The Literary Grounding of Metaphysics Beauvoir and Plato on Philosophical Fiction
Existence Freedom and the Festival Rousseau and Beauvoir
A Different Kind of Universality Beauvoir and Kant on Universal Ethics
Simone de Beauvoir and the Marquis de Sade Contesting the Logic of Sovereignty and the Politics of Terror and Rape
Beauvoir and Marx
Saving Time Temporality Recurrence and Transcendence in Beauvoirs Nietzschean Cycles
Beauvoir and Husserl An Unorthodox Approach to The Second Sex
Beauvoir and Bergson A Question of Influence
Beauvoir and MerleauPonty Philosophers of Ambiguity
From Beauvoir to Irigaray Making Meaning out of Maternity
Ambiguity and Precarious Life Tracing Beauvoirs Legacy in the Work of Judith Butler
True Philosophers Beauvoir and bell

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About the author (2012)

Shannon M. Mussett is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Utah Valley University. She is the coeditor (with Sally J. Scholz) of The Contradictions of Freedom: Philosophical Essays on Simone de Beauvoir?s The Mandarins, also published by SUNY Press. William S. Wilkerson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He is the author of Ambiguity and Sexuality: A Theory of Sexual Identityand the coeditor (with Jeffrey Paris) of New Critical Theory: Essays on Liberation.

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