1.1 Who was Simone de Beauvoir?
Simone de Beauvoir was born in Paris in 1908 and died in the same city in 1986. She studied philosophy at the University of Paris (Sorbonne). She taught in high schools for a number of years, before concentrating on writing. She is particularly famous for her novels, including She Came to Stay (1943), and The Mandarins (1954). Her autobiography is published in four volumes: Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (1958), The Prime of Life (1960), Force of Circumstance (1963), and All Said and Done (1972). She engaged in the traditional philosophical essay format in The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947). You shall read from arguably her most famous work, which has become a classic of feminist literature: The Second Sex (1949). Although she was a successful and famous writer, for a long time her philosophy was relatively neglected, especially in comparison with her partner, the existentialist writer and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Certainly this was due in large part to sexist prejudice. Recently, however, the great value of her philosophy has been acknowledged by scholars, and her influence on the feminist movement has been substantial.