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Philosophy of Ambiguity, The Ambiguous Place of Women


The feminism of Beauvoir is inscribed in the field of existential philosophy, and unlike Sartre’s work, her essays are dedicated completely to ethical issues. In this article I briefly analyze two essays; Pyrrhus et Cinéas , written 1944, and Pour une morale de l´ambigüité, of 1947, published before The Second Sex , at a time she was developing her own methods and problematics. I also trace her first essays in search of her fundamental concepts, in particular those in which she differs from Sartrean interpretation – such as “freedom”, “situation” “project” and “body”- to show that she was not merely his follower, but established herself as an authentic 20th century philosopher. I also briefly review the influence of Merleau Ponty, supported by the literary text, ― A Very Easy Death , and another essay, less known, that Beauvoir dedicated to Marqués de Sade ― Must We Burn Sade? . Beauvoir refutes his libertine and individualistic morals, emphasizing that we are not alone in the world and that, therefore, given that each man is real, all crimes are real violations. Thus, by taking her own position in the so-called “philosophy of ambiguity”, Beauvoir expresses that it is precisely in the moral dimension where human existence becomes truly human. For this reason, one of the objectives of this article is to call attention to her originality and ethical commitment.

Moral; Ambiguity; Humanity; Project; Freedom; Situation

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