Analysis Of Simone De Beauvoir And Hegel

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Simone De Beauvoir posits that the existence of freedom depends on the establishment of restrictions within the world. This paradigm mirrors the co-dependent relationships between other pairs that cannot exists without the counter-part; we cannot know freedom if we do not also know oppression for one cannot exist except in contrast and comparison with the other. De Beauvoir continues by extrapolating that freedom, to be true freedom, must be open-ended and unobstructed. By this she means that freedom must be projecting forward towards a future that also stands open because without an open future, freedom can no longer be realized. This point leads De Beauvoir to assert that life occurs as a continuous perpetuation and surpassing of itself,…show more content…
Hegel goes a step further than De Beauvoir however, as he posits that freedom requires the taking of a risk, for he holds that, only when risked, can life be held as valuable. Hegel claims that to be free is to eliminate the other, thereby eliminating the possibility for dependence on this outside entity. De Beauvoir would likely disagree as she elucidates upon the idea that freedom requires cooperation and therefore finds itself bound within the social. De Beauvoir claims an interdependence as she believes “it is other men who open the future to me, it is they who, setting up the world of tomorrow, define my future” (p.86). This view contradicts Hegel’s belief that elimination of the other brings one freedom to a certain extent, yet it does appear to echo his view that, within the master-slave dialect, the master cannot truly claim freedom as the master must regard the slave’s life as valuable and meaningful for their acknowledgment of his freedom to be of any worth. This creates a double-bind as the master cannot claim to hold the slave in high esteem without contradicting himself by the mere fact that one would not oppress someone who they held any respect for. Furthermore, if the master does not respect the slave then, even if the slave…show more content…
If we are dependent on other’s acknowledgment of our freedom to be considered free, then we are not free because we depend on the existence of the other to accept and agree with our freedom. Within this framework, if we were to remove the Other, we would thereby be removing the very thing which grants us our freedom. Further still, De Beauvoir’s belief that an open future equates freedom, presents certain problems as everyone encounters obstacles in their life that are placed there by outside forces beyond their control such as the government and society. These hinderances may prevent or at least complicate an individual’s journey towards their envisioned future as they must overcome the roadblocks to reach their goal. De Beauvoir would likely counter this possible problem as she would argue that the pressure from society and restrictions from the government are not severe enough to necessitate a claim to oppression from the individual in question. She holds that freedom requires “surpassing the given,” but also distinguishes between the importance of whether the given derives from the objective, natural, or human and social. Furthermore, De Beauvoir believes that there stands an important distinction between being constrained by objects and being constrained by
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