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date: 24 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents a biography of Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986), a French existentialist, author, and activist who produced her most important works in the field of phenomenological psychopathology from the mid- to late-twentieth century. It examines Beauvoir’s unique approach to phenomenology, especially her ongoing concern with issues of oppression, tyranny, and liberation, and her relationship to phenomenological psychopathology. In particular, it describes Beauvoir’s nuanced understanding of and connection to psychology and psychoanalysis. It also considers Beauvoir’s views on Jacques Lacan’s notion of identity and Sigmund Freud’s conception of the fundamentally sexed nature of human experience, both of which she addressed in her book The Second Sex. Finally, it discusses Beauvoir’s arguments in The Second Sex and in another important study, Old Age [La Vieillesse], about how women and the elderly are pathologized as aberrant from the perspective of the dominant culture.

Keywords: phenomenological psychopathology, Simone de Beauvoir, phenomenology, psychology, psychoanalysis, Jacques Lacan, The Second Sex, Old Age, women, elderly

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