Week 15 – Simone de Beauvoir

After exploring Socrates two weeks ago, this week we’re looking at another philosopher. This time though, she’s quite the opposite of Socrates (and not because she’s a woman).

Indeed, while Socrates is known as the founder of western philosophy, Simone Bertrand de Beauvoir is known for being a key figure of existentialism, a modern way of thinking, sitting at the top of the evolution of western philosophy.

A Philosopher, A Teacher

De Beauvoir, originally a teacher, never considered herself a philosopher. Even though some assume that she developed the ideas of Jean-Paul Sartre who she met while studying in Paris. The two shared a lifelong relationship.

A Feminist

She wrote many novels, essays and biographies dealing with either politics, philosophy or social issues. Still, for many Simone de Beauvoir will be a key personality for the feminist movement. In 1949 de Beauvoir published a treatise called “The Second Sex”. Today this is known to be the works that started the sex-gender distinction. Before that, the the role of women were defined historically and by society. She wanted women to be free of this role-thinking and to become independent and self-determined.

This And More

But only reducing her life to being a writer, a philosopher or a feminist wouldn’t be enough. She also wrote many travel diaries from the U.S.A, China, Cuba or Italy. She was also a founder and editor of the political magazine Les Temps Moderne.

SiPgoes53

As often the human beings we explore have multiple facets that can lead images. Here again, Simone de Beauvoir can be explored through different angles. Either as a simple human being with a personal life, or through her own achievements and the impact they had on modern society. Which one will you choose?