Simone De Beauvoir: Philosophy As A Way Of Life

James D. Marshall
Vol 26, Number 2, p.64
The works of Simone de Beauvoir are undergoing a considerable revival in philosophy after several decades of rejection and exclusion from the philosophical canon. The reclamation of de Beauvoir comes largely from the work of women philosophers with subsequent publishing and retranslation of her works into English. We can note now, at least: her release from under the philosophical shadow of Jean-Paul Sartre, her independence, an original approach to philosophy through the notion of a philosophy of lived experience and its exposition through literature, and her original contribution to existentialist ethics especially in Pyrrhus and Cineas (1944) and The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947). In this paper I will introduce de Beauvoir, first with a brief biography and, second, with some of her works through those topics. Apart from literature and philosophy, de Beauvoir (1908–86) wrote many autobiographies, biographies, diaries, and histories, for journals/magazines and the press. Much of this writing was included in her novels. Thus for her and Jean-Paul Sartre philosophy was a way of life.