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Binding nature and freedom Hegelian themes of liberation and oppression in Simone de Beauvoir

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Description: This dissertation investigates Simone de Beauvoir's employment of G. W. F. Hegel's philosophy in describing, critiquing, and overcoming the mechanism of oppression and its specific impact on the historical, social, and bodily situation of women. The central thesis is that Beauvoir utilizes the Hegelian dialectic to describe how women come to be configured as mediating instruments in facilitating the relationship between freedom and nature. Hegel's dialectical method requires that opposing or contradictory principles are resolved through their unification into a third term, or mediating principle, which shares characteristics of both sides of the opposition. For Hegel and Beauvoir, the central opposition of self and other manifests itself in a direct antagonism between freedom and nature. Through Hegel, Beauvoir discovers that women are socially constructed mediators between freedom and nature, which leads to a particularly virulent and longstanding form of oppression. In order to explore this problematic, the project is divided into a discussion of (1) freedom as negativity and self-determination from Kant to Beauvoir, (2) an analysis of nature as freedom's determined other in Hegel and Beauvoir, (3) a description of how the subject alienates itself into its other and how this alienation is overcome through mediation, and finally (4) Beauvoir's reworking of the Hegelian master-slave dialectic.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work