Simone de Beauvoir: Pour une morale de l'ambiguité [The Ethics of Ambiguity]

(1471 words)
  • Vassilis Manoussakis (University of the Peloponnese)

A year after the publication of her first novel (L' Invitée, 1943) Simone de Beauvoir wrote her first philosophical essay, under the original title of “Pyrrhus and Cineas”. Beauvoir begins her discussion of ethical and political issues and the notion of freedom within society with an imaginary dialogue between Pyrrhus, the ancient king of Epirus, in Greece, and his chief advisor Cineas. Each time Pyrrhus makes a declaration concerning the lands that he intends to conquer, Cineas asks him what he will do next. Finally, Pyrrhus, slightly annoyed, exclaims that after his campaign is completed, he intends to rest and Cineas then asks him why he does not rest right away. This essay, then, is based on the e…

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Manoussakis, Vassilis. "Pour une morale de l'ambiguité". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 December 2008
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]