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Philosophical Writings

The first complete, scholarly edition of Beauvoir's essays in English translation

This volume aims at nothing less than the transformation of Simone de Beauvoir's place in the philosophical canon. Despite growing interest her philosophy, Beauvoir remains widely misunderstood and is typically portrayed as a mere philosophical follower of her companion, Jean-Paul Sartre. In Philosophical Writings, Beauvoir herself shows that nothing could be further from the truth.

One factor contributing to misunderstanding has been the lack of English translations of much of Beauvoir's philosophical work, or worse--its mistranslation in heavily condensed, popular editions. Philosophical Writings addresses this source of misunderstanding by providing complete, scholarly editions of Beauvoir's philosophical texts covering the first twenty-three years of her work, including some only recently discovered. Ranging from metaphysical literature to essays on existentialist ethics, Philosophical Writings brings together diverse elements of Beauvoir's work while highlighting continuities in the development of her thought. Each of the translations features detailed notes and a scholarly introduction explaining its larger significance.

Philosophical Writings is a major contribution to the renaissance of interest in her work, and to a philosophical curriculum in which women remain underrepresented.

"A valuable addition to collections of philosophy, feminism, and modern French literature. Recommended."--Choice

"What emerges from the essays Philosophical Writings collects will neither shock nor surprise Beauvoir scholars but is sure to delight. . . . The editors and contributors to Simone de Beauvoir: Philosophical Writings have crafted an engaging text that is sure to encourage a deeper interest in the study of Beauvoir and her place in the philosophical canon."--Hypatia

"This work is a treasure. Now, English-speaking readers who are not fluent in French will have the opportunity to read these selections for themselves. Each piece is preceded by a very helpful introduction and commentary by a well-known Beauvoir scholar, who places the piece in context and notes how it relates to one or more of Beauvoir's better-known works that have long been translated into English. Each selection also has its own translator (distinct from the commentator). The translations read beautifully, and they also have appropriately detailed scholarly notes, which make the selections even more accessible to students. . . . There is no other book to compete with this one."--Claudia Card, editor of The Cambridge Companion to Simone de Beauvoir

"I am amazed by this volume, which alone makes it clear that Beauvoir's philosophy informs rather than is derived from Sartre's. Philosophical Writings is an outstanding gem. This series will change the history of philosophy."--Kelly Oliver, W. Alton Jones Chair of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, and author of Witnessing: Beyond Recognition

Simone de Beauvoir (19081986) was a French existentialist philosopher who pioneered a literary-philosophical method in her work, including Ethics of Ambiguity (1947) and The Second Sex (1949), as well as in her novels, play, and multi-volume autobiography. Margaret A. Simons is a professor of philosophy at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and author of Beauvoir and the Second Sex. Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir, adopted daughter and literary executor of Simone de Beauvoir, is the editor of Lettres Sartre and many other works by Beauvoir. Marybeth Timmermann is a certified translator of the American Translators Association. Mary Beth Mader is an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Memphis.

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