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Simone de Beauvoir’s Apprenticeship of Freedom

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University of Windsor
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Abstract

In The Ethics of Ambiguity, Simone de Beauvoir makes reference to an “apprenticeship of freedom,” but she does not directly address why freedom requires an apprenticeship or what such an apprenticeship entails. Working from Beauvoir’s discussion of freedom in The Ethics of Ambiguity and her discussion of apprenticeships in The Second Sex, I explicate the idea of an apprenticeship of freedom, establishing why an apprenticeship is a necessary condition of freedom and describing how such an apprenticeship is administered. In doing so, I draw together two strands of thought within recent research on Beauvoir—first, that Beauvoir conceives of freedom as embodied and, second, that she conceives of freedom as interpersonal—to consider how adults’ interactions with a child either support or impede the realization of this child’s freedom.

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