The Other Within: Ethics, Politics, and the Body in Simone de Beauvoir (Feminist Constructions Series)

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In The Other Within, Fredrika Scarth offers a reading of The Second Sex as an ethical text, driven by Beauvoir's preoccupation with what possibilities have been closed off to women by patriarchal structures, oppression and inequality. Scarth offers a unique and enlightening study of Beauvoir's writing on the female body, and particularly on maternity as an important piece of Beauvoir's writing. Unlike other feminist scholars who find in Beauvoir's writing a repudiation of mother hood, Scarth argues that Beauvoir's writing on maternity can open up new possibilities of embodied subjectivity and agency, agrounding an authentic ethical relationship with the other.
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Editorial Reviews

H-France Reviews
Thoughtful and nuanced…an excellent introduction to some of the key debates that have sprung up in recent years in relation to The Second Sex. If offers a well-informed, subtle and often persuasive analysis of Beauvoir's text in the light of her essays on ethics.
Linda Zerilli
Scarth's project entails a deep rethinking of embodiment and its relation to human freedom and she brilliantly succeeds in this rethinking, showing the relevance of Beauvoir's work for yet another generation of feminists.
(Uk) Times Literary Supplement
[Scarth's] focus on the role and representation of the female body in Beauvoir's essay, and particularly on the maternal body, gives her analysis a clear and original focus.
Thoughtful and nuanced…an excellent introduction to some of the key debates that have sprung up in recent years in relation to The Second Sex. If offers a well-informed, subtle and often persuasive analysis of Beauvoir's text in the light of her essays on ethics.
Margaret Simons
The Other Within is Fredrika Scarth's passionate defense of The Second Sex against those feminist critics who charge Beauvoir with presenting a masculinist account of female embodiment. It is the most thorough-going and effective response to Beauvoir's feminist critics that I have ever seen.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742534766
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 11/28/2004
  • Series: Feminist Constructions Series
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Fredrika Scarth is an instructor in the women's studies program at the University of Toronto.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Part 2 Rethinking the Body Chapter 3 I The Body in Political Thought Chapter 4 II Simone de Beauvoir: a difficult legacy Chapter 5 III Reading Simone de Beauvoir as a Political Theorist Part 6 Simone de Beauvoir: A Masculine Mother Chapter 7 Introduction Chapter 8 I The Second Sex and "Simone de Beauvoir" Chapter 9 II The Second Sex and feminist history Chapter 10 III The Second Sex and feminist generations Chapter 11 IV A feminist mother with masculine values? Chapter 12 V The 'body problem' in The Second Sex Chapter 13 i) The Body as a Philosophical Problem Chapter 14 ii) 'Horror' of the Body Chapter 15 Conclusion: Beyond the First Generation Part 16 Coming of Age: Ambiguity and the Freedom of Others Chapter 17 Introduction Chapter 18 I The Legacy Of Descartes: Subjectivity, Dualism And Solipsism Chapter 19 II Beauvoir: Between Sartre And Merleau-Ponty Chapter 20 III Coming Of Age Chapter 21 IV Pyhrrus et Cinéas : Freedoms Are Interdependent Chapter 22 V The Ethics of Ambiguity : Freedom and Conversion Chapter 23 i) Ambiguity Chapter 24 ii) The Desire to Be Chapter 25 iii) Conversion and Coming of Age Chapter 26 iv) The Desire to Be and Others Chapter 27 v) The Desire to Disclose and Others: Generosity Chapter 28 Conclusion Chapter 29 The Second Sex: Ambiguity and the Body Chapter 30 Introduction Chapter 31 I Beauvoir's critique of the masculine subject Chapter 32 i) Subject and Other Chapter 33 II: The Body and Ambiguity Chapter 34 i) Biology Chapter 35 ii) Mythology Chapter 36 iii) Lived Experience Chapter 37 III: Modes of subjectivity: the temptations of mastery and the possibility of generosity Chapter 38 i) Risking: Subjectivity as Transcendence Chapter 39 ii) Generosity: the Erotic as Risk and Gift of Self Chapter 40 Conclusion Part 41 Bodies at Risk: The Meanings of Maternity Chapter 42 Introduction Chapter 43 I Beauvoir's Rhetorical War Chapter 44 II Free Maternity Chapter 45 III Maternal subjects? Chapter 46 i) Ambiguity Chapter 47 ii) Creativity Chapter 48 iii) Risk Chapter 49 Conclusion Part 50 Others Within: From Ethics to Politics Chapter 51 I Refiguring Subjectivity Chapter 52 II From Ethics to Politics Chapter 53 i) Oppression and the body-as-flesh Chapter 54 ii) Ethics and political liberation: the limits of liberation Chapter 55 iii) Otherness within Chapter 56 BIBLIOGRAPHY 214
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