Synopses & Reviews
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.
Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), French philosopher and novelist, is perhaps best known as the intimate companion/friend of existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre. Over the decades, she has been a second banana, overshadowed by Sartre because of his huge literary and philosophical reputation. This international collection of scholarly essays attempts to rectify this assessment by claiming that she was a significant philosopher in her own right and that she influenced and contributed to many of Sartre's works. Editors Daigle (Brock Univ.) and Golomb (Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) bring together 14 essays that exalt Beauvoir to a higher philosophic plane, even though she consistently said that Sartre was the philosopher, and that she was merely a writer. Contributors disagree with her self-effacing remarks. (Unbelievably, one writer even refers to her as a giant of 20th-century philosophy.) This reviewer sees the existentialist The Ethics of Ambiguity as derivative of Sartre's work. The Second Sex is Beauvoir's original feminist essay, and her voluminous autobiographies suggest, perhaps, vanity. Altogether, this feminist-inspired book assumes a very advanced knowledge of Sartre and Beauvoir. Readers should see Hazel Rowley's Tête-a-Tête (2005) for a very enjoyable account of their personal relationships. Summing Up: Recommended. Women's studies collections supporting graduate students and faculty/researchers. --ChoiceM. P. Maller, College of DuPage, August 2009 Indiana University Press Indiana University Press
"This collection of essays is a remarkable achievement. It allows readers access to the exciting domain of existential philosophy, fiction, autobiography, and more." --Shannon M. Mussett, Utah Valley University Indiana University Press
"As a whole, this is a solid, philosophically rich and challenging collection of essays. All of them contribute something to a greater understanding of the complexity of intellectual influence.... The editors and authors have succeeded in keeping alive the fecund thought of these two, as they say, 'flamboyant intellectuals,' and we are all most certainly going to benefit from the work they have done." --Sartre Studies International
Addresses questions of influence between two of the 20th century's greatest minds
About the Author
Christine Daigle teaches philosophy at Brock University in Canada. She is editor of Existentialist Thinkers and Ethics.
Jacob Golomb is Ahad Ha'am Professor of Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His most recent book is Nietzsche in Zion.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
Christine Daigle and Jacob Golomb
1. Getting the Beauvoir We Deserve
2. Where Influence Fails: Embodiment in Beauvoir and Sartre
3. The Question of Reciprocal Self-Abandon to the Other: Beauvoir's Influence on Sartre
Guillermine de Lacoste
4. Beauvoir and Sartre on Freedom, Intersubjectivity, and Normative Justification
Matthew C. Eshleman
5. Sartre and Beauvoir on Hegel's Master-Slave Dialectic and the Question of the "Look"
6. Beauvoir, Sartre, and Patriarchy's History of Ideas
7. Psychoanalysis of Things: Objective Meanings or Subjective Projections?
8. Beauvoir, Sartre, and the Problem of Alterity
Translated by Kevin W. Gray
9. Moving beyond Sartre: Constraint and Judgment in Beauvoir's "Moral Essays" and The Mandarins
10. Simone de Beauvoir's "Marguerite" as a Possible Source of Inspiration for Jean-Paul Sartre's "The Childhood of a Leader"
Translated by Kevin W. Gray
11. Taking a Distance: Exploring Some Points of Divergence between Beauvoir and Sartre
William L. McBride
12. Anne, Ou quand orime le spirituel: Beauvoir and Sartre Interact--from Parody, Satire, and Tragedy to Manifesto of Liberation
Adrian van den Hoven
13. The Concept of Transcendence in Beauvoir and Sartre
14. Freedom F/Or the Other
List of Contributors