Is The Second Sex Beauvoir's Application of Sartrean Existentialism?

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Is The Second Sex Beauvoir's Application of Sartrean Existentialism?

ABSTRACT: Simone de Beauvoir's 1949 feminist masterpiece, The Second Sex, has traditionally been read as an application of Sartrean existentialism to the problem of women. Critics have claimed a Sartrean origin for Beauvoir's central theses: that under patriarchy woman is the Other, and that 'one is not born a woman, but becomes one.' An analysis of Beauvoir's recently discovered 1927 diary, written while she was a philosophy student at the Sorbonne, two years before her first meeting with Sartre, challenges this interpretation. In this diary, Beauvoir affirms her commitment to doing philosophy, defines the philosophical problem of 'the opposition of self and other,'
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The political philosopher, Sonia Kruks, in a 1995 essay, writes that: "The central claim of The Second Sex -- 'one is not born a woman but becomes one'--presupposes Sartre's argument that 'existence precedes essence': that human beings become what they are on the basis of no pre-given necessity or 'nature' (Kruks 1). I've argued myself, in a early essay, that this voluntarism reflects a Sartrean influence.

Kate and Edward Fullbrook (1994) have challenged these interpretations of Beauvoir as a Sartrean, arguing that Beauvoir's metaphysical novel, She Came to Stay (1943), traditionally assumed to be an application of Sartre's Being and Nothingness (1943), was actually its philosophical source. Another challenge to the traditional interpretation of Beauvoir as a Sartrean is found in Beauvoir's 1927 diary. Discovered by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir, Beauvoir's adopted daughter and literary executor, after Beauvoir's death, and deposited in the BibliothŠque Nationale in 1990, Beauvoir's handwritten diary has been transcribed by Barbara Klaw, with the assistance of Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir, and myself. In the 1927 diary, written while Beauvoir was a philosophy student at the Sorbonne, two years before her first meeting with Jean-Paul Sartre in 1929, she lays out the foundations of her later
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