Simone de Beauvoir, Philosophy, and Feminism

Nancy Bauer

Columbia University Press

Simone de Beauvoir, Philosophy, and Feminism

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Pub Date: July 2001

ISBN: 9780231116657

288 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00£27.00

Pub Date: July 2001

ISBN: 9780231116640

288 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $100.00£77.00

Pub Date: July 2001

ISBN: 9780231529174

288 Pages

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List Price: $34.99£27.00

Simone de Beauvoir, Philosophy, and Feminism

Nancy Bauer

Columbia University Press

In the introduction to The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir notes that "a man never begins by establishing himself as an individual of a certain sex: his being a man poses no problem." Nancy Bauer begins her book by asking: "Then what kind of a problem does being a woman pose?" Bauer's aim is to show that in answering this question The Second Sex dramatizes the extent to which being a woman poses a philosophical problem.

This book is a call for philosophers as well as feminists to turn, or return to, The Second Sex. Bauer shows that Beauvoir's magnum opus, written a quarter-century before the development of contemporary feminist philosophy, constitutes a meditation on the relationship between women and philosophy that remains profoundly undervalued. She argues that the extraordinary effect The Second Sex has had on women's lives, then and now, can be traced to Beauvoir's discovery of a new way to philosophize—a way grounded in her identity as a woman. In offering a new interpretation of The Second Sex, Bauer shows how philosophy can be politically productive for women while remaining genuinely philosophical.
In her concise but closely argued book, Bauer demonstrates the philosophical importance of Beauvoir's work, not only as foundational for contemporary feminism but as a major contribution to philosophy.... A real must-have for libraries serving serious women's studies programs. Choice
A powerfully argued, lucid and fascinating book which, as well as offering a timely reassessment of Beauvoir's thought, raises important questions for feminism about the most effective way to undermine masculine privilege. Lois McNay, Times Literary Supplement
A brilliant study of Simone de Beauvoir's masterpiece. Hilary Putnam
Bauer's subtle and original elucidation of Beauvoir's philosophical relationship to Descartes, Hegel, and Sartre is a truly important contribution to the field of feminism and philosophy—and to feminist theory in general. Toril Moi
1. Is Feminist Philosophy a Contradiction in Terms? First Philosophy, The Second Sex, and The Third Wave
2. I am a Woman, Therefrom I Think: The Second Sex and the Meditations
Introduction: Recounting Women
5. Reading Beauvoir Reading Hegel: Pyrrhus et CinÇas and the Ethics of Ambiguity
3. The Truth of Self-Certainty: A Rendering of Hegel's Master-Slave Dialectic
4. The Conditions of Hell: Sartre on Hegel
6. The Second Sex and the Master-Slave Dialectic
7. The Struggle for Self in The Second Sex

About the Author

Nancy Bauer is assistant professor of philosophy at Tufts University.