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Title: Freedom and the body : Sartre and Beauvoir on embodied consciousness
Author: Doney, Tania Francine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2728 3004
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Jean-Paul Sartre is not traditionally thought of as a philosopher of the body and, until very recently, little critical attention has been paid to this aspect of his work. Nevertheless, since 2005 a number of articles have begun to appear which suggest that Sartre‘s account of the body in L’Être et le Néant may be worthy of more consideration than it has thus far received – perhaps most notably Joseph Catalano‘s 2005 article suggesting that the chapter on the body is central to a proper understanding of Sartre‘s philosophy. Simone de Beauvoir is often criticised for her writing on the body in Le Deuxième Sexe, with much of the criticism suggesting that Beauvoir‘s use of existential philosophy is to blame for her failings. Yet Toril Moi argues that Beauvoir‘s claim that the body is a situation, a claim that arises from existential philosophy, is a valuable contribution to feminism. In light of these developments, it seems pertinent to look again at Sartre‘s chapter on the body in L’Être et le Néant and at Beauvoir‘s work to try to understand exactly what is meant by the body as a situation and how this concept relates to Sartre and Beauvoir‘s well-known ideas on freedom and responsibility. The aim of this thesis is to examine the importance of the chapter on the body in L’Être et le Néant and to demonstrate its relevance to Sartre‘s philosophy as a whole, to look at how Beauvoir has used Sartre‘s philosophy in her own writing and to consider the relevance of that philosophy to more contemporary writing on the body. The thesis will focus on L’Être et le Néant, Le Deuxième Sexe, and La Vieillesse with references also made to both authors‘ fictional works, to Beauvoir‘s autobiographical writings, and to more contemporary work on the body.
Supervisor: Howells, Christina Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literatures of Romance languages ; French ; Modern Western philosophy ; Specific philosophical schools ; Ageing ; Gender ; Women ; Existentialism ; body ; mind-body problem