Beauvoir and Rand: Asphyxiating People, Having Sex, and Pursuing a Career

The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 15 (1):23-41 (2015)
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In an attempt to start rectifying a lamentable disparity in scholarship, we evince fruitful points of similarity and difference in the ideas of Simone de Beauvoir and Ayn Rand, paying particular attention to their views on long-term projects. Endorsing what might be called an “Ethic of Resolve,” Rand praises those who undertake sustained goal-directed actions such as careers. Beauvoir, however, endorses an “Ethic of Ambiguity” that makes her more skeptical about the prospects of carrying out lifelong projects without deluding oneself. Our study teases apart the strengths and drawbacks of these views.
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