The work of Simone de Beauvoir has endured and flowered in the last two decades, thanks primarily to the lasting influence of The Second Sex on the rise of academic discussions of gender, sexuality, and old age. Now, in this new Companion dedicated to her life and writings, an international assembly of prominent scholars, essayists, and leading interpreters reflect upon the range of Beauvoir’s contribution to philosophy as one of the great authors, thinkers, and public intellectuals of the twentieth century.
The Companion examines Beauvoir’s rich intellectual life from a variety of angles—including literary, historical, and anthropological perspectives—and situates her in relation to her forbears and contemporaries in the philosophical canon. Essays in each of four thematic sections reveal the breadth and acuity of her insight, from the significance of The Second Sex and her work on the metaphysics of gender to her plentiful contributions in ethics and political philosophy. Later chapters trace the relationship between Beauvoir’s philosophical and literary work and open up her scholarship to global issues, questions of race, and the legacy of colonialism and sexism. The volume concludes by considering her impact on contemporary feminist thought writ large, and features pioneering work from a new generation of Beauvoir scholars.
Ambitious and unprecedented in scope, A Companion to Simone de Beauvoir is an accessible and interdisciplinary resource for students, teachers, and researchers across the humanities and social sciences.