In de Beauvoir’s second major essay, the renowned French philosopher illustrates the ethics of Existentialism by outlining a series of “ways of being”
In this classic introduction to Existentialist thought, French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir’s The Ethics of Ambiguity simultaneously pays homage to and grapples with her French contemporaries, philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, by arguing that the freedoms in Existentialism carry with them certain ethical responsibilities. While contemplating Nihilism, Surrealism, Existentialism, Objectivity, and human values, The Ethics of Ambiguity is a thorough examination of existence and what it means to human life.
To do this, de Beauvoir outlines a series of “ways of being” (the adventurer, the passionate person, the lover, the artist, and the intellectual), each of which overcomes the former’s deficiencies, and therefore can live up to the responsibilities of freedom. Ultimately, de Beauvoir argues that in order to achieve true freedom, one must battle against the choices and activities of those who suppress it.