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“A Dream, Dreamed by Reason … Hollow Like All Dreams”: French Existentialism and Its Critique of Abstract Liberalism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 March 2020

Abstract

The recent claiming of Simone de Beauvoir's legacy by French feminists for a policy of assimilation of Muslim women to Western models of self and society reduces the complexity and richness of Beauvoir's views in inacceptable ways. This article explores to what extent a politics of difference that challenges the ideals and political strategies of abstract liberalism can be extracted from and legitimized by the philosophies of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. Without assuming their thought is identical, we can read them as elucidating each other and as implicitly exposing weak and strong points in their respective philosophies on ethnocultural relations and social identities.

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OPEN ISSUE CONTENT
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Hypatia, Inc.

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References

Abbreviations

TSS=Beauvoir, Simone de. 1974. The second sex, Trans. H. M. Parshley. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin.Google Scholar
ADD=Beauvoir, Simone de. 1999. America day by day, Trans. Carol Cosman. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
AJ=Sartre, Jean‐Paul. 1995. Anti‐Semite and Jew, Trans. George Becker. New York: Schocken Books.Google Scholar
BN=Sartre, Jean‐Paul. 2001. Being and nothingness, Trans. Hazel Barnes. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
BO=Sartre, Jean‐Paul. 2001. Black Orpheus, Trans. John MacCombie and Robert Bernasconi. In Race, ed. Bernasconi, Robert. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar

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