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Ethics Of Ambiguity [Paperback]

Simone de Beauvoir
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Ethics Of Ambiguity + Essays In Existentialism + Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction
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Book by de Beauvoir, Simone

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise Existential Account June 8 2003
By Davyde
Format:Paperback
By exploring the meaning of "existence before essence" and the fundamental reality of choice, Beauvoir presents the reader with a livable program for life in the modern and multiplicit world; namely existentialism. Ethics is both concise and poetic, maintaining a clarity that Being and Nothingness lacks. The Second Sex is essentially an entailment of the ideas explored in this book. Few other philosophers of the 20th century were able to combine practical philosophy and rigorous metaphysics with such eloquence.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Teaching Text for Existentialism Dec 27 2003
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent and original work of philosophy, closely related to the contemporary ideas of Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, but quite unique and not reducible to their work. I find it to be one of the best books (indeed one of the few books) to use to teach existentialism in introductory classes. I recommend skipping the first chapter, because it is self-consciously "literary," (in an obscure way), and contributes nothing essential to the book. Chapter 2 is the core of the book, and it is an incredible and compelling piece of writing that brilliantly discusses the distinctive nature of childhood experience, and then develops a dialectic of "bad faith" that offers a sort of system for understanding personality types--ways, that is, of embracing (imperfectly) our freedom. The third chapter studies politics in a very thoughtful way, (though I find it is often lost on my intro students because they just don't have enough experience of political realities to appreciate the significance of what she is saying). This text is often wrongly belittled by commentators (and, indeed, de Beauvoir herself wrongly said disparaging things about it), but I think it is one of the classic texts of existential phenomenology and deserves to be widely read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Teaching Text for Existentialism. Dec 26 2003
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent and original work of philosophy, closely related to the contemporary ideas of Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, but quite unique and not reducible to their work. I find it to be one of the best books (indeed one of the few books) to use to teach existentialism in introductory classes. I recommend skipping the first chapter, because it is self-consciously "literary," (in an obscure way), and contributes nothing essential to the book. Chapter 2 is the core of the book, and it is an incredible and compelling piece of writing that brilliantly discusses the distinctive nature of childhood experience, and then develops a dialectic of "bad faith" that offers a sort of system for understanding personality types--ways, that is, of embracing (imperfectly) our freedom. The third chapter studies politics in a very thoughtful way, (though I find it is often lost on my intro students because they just don't have enough experience of political realities to appreciate the significance of what she is saying). This text is often wrongly belittled by commentators (and, indeed, de Beauvoir herself wrongly said disparaging things about it), but I think it is one of the classic texts of existential phenomenology and deserves to be widely read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars an ethics for people who like being alive March 16 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
compared to Being and Nothingness, the Ethics of Ambiguity is a cakewalk to read. which does not at all make it a bad choice. Beauvoir constructs an ethics (but not a set of mores(inflexible)) that is livable. an ethics that works in this world. all readers of The Second Sex should read the Ethics first, especially the english readers since the only(?) Second Sex translation available to us was written by a scientist who didn't comprehend/care about the types of things the Ethics addresses. also of interest is how well this book flows moderately seemlessly (other than he-centered language) into contemporary feminist theory. like sarah hoagland's Lesbian Ethics, for example.
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