The Western Thought of Beauvoir
Edited by Shannon M. Mussett & William S. Wilkerson
SUNY Press, $80.00, 248 pages
Simone de Beauvoir was on the major mid 20th century philosophers. Her work became the rallying cry of modern-day feminists. While she did not write straightforward philosophical texts, her writings have come to influence philosophical thought into the 21st century. In this collection of essays we dig deep into Beauvoir’s thoughts, how she was influenced by the great thinkers of the past and how she was shaped and influenced by, and helped influenced, modern-day philosophers.
This is like reading an academic journal with many articles where each article is short and to the point. You do not have to read them in order; you can pick and choose which ones you wish to read one at a time. The editors have made it easier by placing them in chronological order, beginning with Plato and Beauvoir and moving up through time to include Kant, Sade, Rousseau and even Marx before moving to more contemporary thinkers. Each chapter stands on its own, with some stronger than others. Personally I think those on Plato and Kant are the two that stretch their arguments the most. This is an excellent addition to modern-day philosophical thought.
Reviewed by Kevin Winter