The Ethics of Ambiguity; Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What are two descriptions that Beauvoir gives to man at the beginning of Part I, Ambiguity and Freedom?

Beauvoir describes man as a "Rational Animal" and a "Thinking Reed".

2. How does Beauvoir relate nature of man's existence to the past, present, and future in Part I?

Beauvoir writes that man is caught between a past which no longer is and the future which is not yet at the present moment which is nothing.

3. To what does Beauvoir credit the development of many different philosophical world views?

Individuals who are fundamentally uncomfortable with their lives and meaning of those lives.

4. How does Beauvoir characterize Materialists?

Materialists are people who try to reduce the mind to the body.

5. How does Beauvoir characterize Dualists?

Dualists are people who treat mind and body as separate substances.

6. According to Beauvoir, how have existentialists defined their philosophy?

Existentialists have defined their philosophy as a philosophy of ambiguity.

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