Pursuing Freedom: Simone de Beauvoir and Hannah Arendt

  • Rita Ann Gardiner Western University, Canada

Resumo

How do we judge what is right while, at the same time, respect the freedom of others? In considering this question, I bring Simone de Beauvoir and Hannah Arendt into dialogue to better understand how the pursuit of freedom necessitates a willingness to judge others. In my discussion, I explore how these writers treat the themes of ambiguity, oppression, and revolution. By comparing how they relate these themes to freedom, we see how liberty is interconnected with personal accountability, and a willingness to question our beliefs. It is when we are unwilling to engage in an ongoing dialogue, I argue, that we risk losing that which is most precious to us, namely, freedom. I begin by examining Beauvoir’s Ethics of Ambiguity to see how she connects ambiguity with ethical action. Then, I consider how ethical action is sometimes obscured by self-centered desires, which bar us from thinking about how our actions may negate the freedom of others. Next, I look at their different approaches to questions of freedom as it relates to eradicating oppression. Finally, I examine the ways in which Beauvoir and Arendt show that the pursuit of freedom requires us to take a personal stance against injustice in order to respect the dignity of others. In so doing, we engage in an ethical relationship with the world.

 

 

 

 

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Biografia do Autor

Rita Ann Gardiner, Western University, Canada
I am a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Women Studies and Feminist Research at Western University, Canada.My interests are in feminist phenomenology, authenticity and notions of leadership.

 

Referências

Arendt, Hannah. “Personal Responsibility under Dictatorship.” Responsibility and Judgment. Ed. Jerome Kohn. New York: Schocken Books, 2003. 17-48.

---. Some Questions of Moral Philosophy.” Responsibility and Judgment. Ed. Jerome Kohn. New York: Schocken Books, 2003. 49-147.

---. The Life of the Mind. Ed. Mary McCarthy. New York: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1971.

---. Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought. London: Penguin, 1993.

---. Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report of the Banality of Evil. New York: Penguin, 1965.

---. On Revolution. New York: Viking Press Inc, 1963.

---. The Human Condition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1958.

---. Origins of Totalitarianism. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973.

de Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. Trans. Constance Border, Sheila Malovany-Chevallier. New York: Knopf, 2012.

---. The Prime of Life. Trans. Peter Green. New York: Penguin, 1960.

---. The Ethics of Ambiguity. Trans. Bernard Frechtman. New York: The Citadel Press, 1948.

Birmingham, Peg. Hannah Arendt and Human Rights: The Predicament of Common Responsibility. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006.

Hutchings, Kimberly. “Simone de Beauvoir and the Ambiguous Ethics of Political Violence.” Hypatia 22(3), 2007, 112-131.

Marso, Lori J. “Simone de Beauvoir and Hannah Arendt: Judgments in Dark Times.” Political Theory 40 (2): 165-193, 2012.

Morgan, Anne. “Simone de Beauvoir’s Ethics, the Master/Slave Dialectic, and Eichmann as a Sub- Man.” Hypatia 24 (2) Spring 2009, 39-53.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/25/quinoa-good-evil-complicated. Accessed January 28, 2013.

http://www.rlc.fao.org/en/about-fao/iyq-2012/. Accessed January 31, 2013.

Publicado
08-02-2013
Como Citar
Gardiner, R. A. (2013). Pursuing Freedom: Simone de Beauvoir and Hannah Arendt. Sapere Aude, 3(6), 455-468. Recuperado de http://periodicos.pucminas.br/index.php/SapereAude/article/view/4730
Seção
ENSAIOS/ESSAYS