The Contradictions of Freedom

Philosophical Essays on Simone de Beauvoir's The Mandarins

Edited by Sally J. Scholz & Shannon M. Mussett

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791465608, 244 pages, October 2005
Hardcover : 9780791465592, 244 pages, October 2005

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Table of contents


Sally J. Scholz and Shannon M. Mussett

1. The Conflict of Ideologies in The Mandarins: Communism and Democracy, Then and Now
William L. McBride

2. Sustained Praxis: The Challenge of Solidarity in The Mandarins and Beyond
Sally J. Scholz

3. Living on Rails: Freedom, Constraint, and Political Judgment in Beauvoir
Sonia Kruks

4. Testimony, Historicité, and the Intellectual in Simone de Beauvoir
Ursula Tidd

5. The Return of Commitment: Simone de Beauvoir
Karen Vintges

6. “Politics Is a Living Thing”: The Intellectual’s Dilemma in Beauvoir’s The Mandarins
Gail Weiss

7. Personal Choice and the Seduction of the Absolute in The Mandarins
Shannon M. Mussett

8. Love, Theory, and Politics: Critical Trinities in Simone de Beauvoir
Jen McWeeny

9. Simone de Beauvoir on Achieving Subjectivity
Thomas W. Busch

10. When a Woman Loves a Man: Ownness and Otherness in The Mandarins
Eleanore Holveck

11. Salon-Haunters: The Impasse Facing French Intellectuals
Peg Brand
List of Contributors

The essential companion to Simone de Beauvoir's celebrated novel.


This unique collection examines the various contradictions of freedom in Simone de Beauvoir's The Mandarins, the tumultuous epic about the personal and political lives of post–World War II French intellectuals. Fifty years after its publication, Beauvoir's book transcends the narrow confines of time and place to speak powerfully to audiences today. Contributors address political turmoil, collective responsibility, individual choice and commitment, love relationships, subjectivity, art, and freedom. With an extensive introduction that explores the historical period surrounding France after World War II, Beauvoir's own account of the novel's creation, and the initial reception of the novel around the world, this book is an essential companion to Beauvoir's celebrated novel.

Sally J. Scholz is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University and the author of On de Beauvoir. Shannon M. Mussett is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Utah Valley State College.