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From shame towards an ethics of ambiguity

Kitchen, Ruth 2013. From shame towards an ethics of ambiguity. Sartre Studies International 19 (1) , pp. 55-70. 10.3167/ssi.2013.190104

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For Sartre, shame is not an ethical but an ontological experience. With this in mind, the article examines the philosophical connection between shame and ambiguity through analysis of the experiences of abortion and the Nazi Occupation. The article demonstrates how Beauvoir develops Sartre's ontological notion of shame into an ethical philosophy of ambiguity as a result of wartime experiences. It demonstrates how encounters with shame, abortion, ambiguity and Occupation life in Beauvoir's 1945 novel Le sang des autres elucidate and are developed by Sartre and Beauvoir's philosophies of shame and ambiguity. The paper proposes that Sartre's and Beauvoir's thought was shaped by living through the Nazi Occupation and reveals how the memory of wartime shame is activated in contemporary ethical dilemmas in later literary works of both writers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II
D History General and Old World > DC France
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Publisher: Berghahn Journals
ISSN: 1357-1559
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2017 04:23

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