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Simone de Beauvoir turns 106

January 9, 2014

Simone de Beauvoir and the Politics of Ambiguity

“One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, and compassion”  - Simone de Beauvoir


Today marks Simone de Beauvoir's 106th birthday. de Beauvoir was a French intellectual, writer, existentialist philosopher, and feminist. Best known for her book The Second Sex, a key text in the development of modern feminist theory, De Beauvoir explored the idea that “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman” and  she remained committed to the women’s liberation in France throughout her life. Although they never married, she was in a lifelong relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre and remained together  until his death; her novel She Came to Stay is a fictionalized account of their relationship. She also wrote The Mandarins, a novel following the personal lives of her fellow philosophers as well as several volumes of autobiography.

To celebrate, we've made a selection of academic essays on de Beauvoir, her work, and her legacy, available for free for one month:


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