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Simone de Beauvoir: An Existential-Phenomenological Ethics

Surely this privilege is ours already, and we have at hand, without taking any trouble, those things to which we hope to attain by bloodshed and great toils and perils, after doing much harm to others and suffering much ourselves. Pyrrhus was troubled, but not dissuaded by this argument. It seems that Plutarch believed that Cineas was the wiser man here.

Pyrrhus was the wiser - he just lacked imagination. Indeed, de Beauvoir takes the matter further and explains why, in fact, 2 one can take Cineas' question as a query about the limits of Man and his projects.

Where do we draw the line? Lest you underrate the significance of these questions, consider two well known philosophical positions landing at opposite poles of the question "What are the limits of Man? In other words, the question "what are the limits of Man and his projects? For the French Existentialists, what belongs to each human is their freedom to make choices, to formulate values, goals and projects.

The project is "his" until he completes it, at which point it leaves his possession. She further writes:. There is no privileged point in the world of which he could say with certainty "It's me"; he is constitutively oriented towards something else besides himself; he isn't himself except by relation to something other than himself.

For de Beauvoir, Man is the constantly restless being, always turned towards the future, formulating goals and projects, carrying them out successfully or not, and then doing it again from that new contingent position.

Coming to rest, renouncing all new goals and projects - these are betrayals of that which makes humankind humankind. Pyrrhus gets her vote, not Cineas. On the side, as it were, de Beauvoir discusses various other ethical questions which I won't go into.

And on the side, as it were, I'd like to point out that this attribute of Man - that once he attains a goal, he is not long satisfied with it and soon longs for something else, and again, and again - this is recognized quite explicitly in Gautama Buddha's teachings.

In Buddhism, this attribute is one of the primary sources of pain in this Vale of Tears and is to be strictly exorcised; one cannot even want Nirvana, because that wanting, that desire will block the possibility of attaining Nirvana.

For de Beauvoir and Sartre, precisely this attribute is formulated positively and embraced. It is the means by which Man creates meaning and value in a world which is otherwise empty of it. I wonder if we really have a clue what the hell Man is and what the hell his place is in the world, whatever the hell that is OK, OK, I'll take a deep one.

I have a feeling she might have taken some flak for that from her peers. But just as Camus would do in his essay on Sisyphus, de Beauvoir takes a classical story as a starting point to make an modern philosophical point. Currently reading. Charles R. Recently added.

Pyrrhus and Cinéas by Simone de Beauvoir

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It was published in , and in it, she makes a philosophical inquiry into the human situation by way of analogy from the story of when Pyrrhus was asked by his friend Cineas what his plans were after conquering his next empire. Cineas question is a sort of infinite regress and then what? Upon receiving this answer, Cineas asks why Pyrrhus doesnt rest now instead of going through all the trouble of conquering all these other empires when the final result will be rest anyway. According to Beauvoir, Cineas question haunts all of our projects, and we will always have to give an answer to it. The authentic answer, as she sees it, goes contrary to traditional interpretations in which Cineas is considered the wiser of the two.

Simone de Beauvoir: An Existential-Phenomenological Ethics

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In my article, I address what I perceive to be Beauvoir's fundamental preoccupation, namely ethics. Her ethical thinking is grounded in ontological and phenomenological considerations that allow her to think through interpersonal relations. Because this is what drives her philosophy, I consider her fundamental preoccupation to be ethical. The problem of alterity is one that Beauvoir seeks to address in her work. Discussing this, I engage with the question of its origin and the problem of influence between Sartre and Beauvoir.

Early Philosophical Writing

Pyrrhus and Cinéas

Surely this privilege is ours already, and we have at hand, without taking any trouble, those things to which we hope to attain by bloodshed and great toils and perils, after doing much harm to others and suffering much ourselves. Pyrrhus was troubled, but not dissuaded by this argument. It seems that Plutarch believed that Cineas was the wiser man here. Pyrrhus was the wiser - he just lacked imagination. Indeed, de Beauvoir takes the matter further and explains why, in fact, 2 one can take Cineas' question as a query about the limits of Man and his projects. Where do we draw the line?

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It was published in , and in it, she makes a philosophical inquiry into the human situation by way of analogy from the story of when Pyrrhus was asked by his friend Cineas what his plans were after conquering his next empire. Cineas question is a sort of infinite regress and then what? Upon receiving this answer, Cineas asks why Pyrrhus doesnt rest now instead of going through all the trouble of conquering all these other empires when the final result will be rest anyway. According to Beauvoir, Cineas question haunts all of our projects, and we will always have to give an answer to it. The authentic answer, as she sees it, goes contrary to traditional interpretations in which Cineas is considered the wiser of the two. Pyrrhus attitude is considered more authentic in that it is an attitude that directs itself forwards towards goals that are never absolute: According to Beauvoir, the reason for Pyrrhus final statement that in the end, he is going to rest, is that he lacks imagination.


make a difference to being a philosopher? Page 3. Works. • b. 9 Jan • d. 14 Apr , L'Invitée, Paris: Gallimard. , Pyrrhus et Cinéas, Paris.


3 Comments

AnaГ­as C. 28.05.2021 at 06:57

11 Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity, Secaucus, N. J.: Citadel. Press Book 14 Simone de Beauvoir, Pyrrhus et Cinéas, Paris: Gallimard (no.

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