Can Existentialism help us accept our freedom in a pandemic?

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“I don’t choose to exist, but I am. An absurdity which is responsible for itself, that’s exactly what I am” The Blood of Others; pg 108, Simone de Beauvoir.

In a sense, this essay is quite personal. Though it is written as if from an impartial standpoint, the argument as a whole is addressed to someone who sees themselves in the above quote, someone who feels responsible for the consequences of their own existence.

If you do feel this way, you aren’t alone. Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre are two philosophers who spent much of their work struggling with…


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Simone de Beauvoir was a 20th century French philosopher, who wrote on her life, ethics, authenticity, problems of the self and the other, emancipatory politics, feminism and more. I think that her work deserves your attention, and in this article I’ll try and convince you that it does.

What is Simone de Beauvoir’s contribution to Philosophy?

In short, her life.

Not that she was a martyr by any means, in fact, from reading her memoirs it seems that she really enjoyed her life. But her philosophy was deeply personal, rooted in personal fears, cares and anxieties. she once said “my life is my work”, exhibiting her existentialist belief…


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My concept of a good conversation does not involve two faces facing. Consider going on a walk with a friend or sitting alongside someone in the front of a car. Your faces follow two lines that converge in the distance. You are able to turn towards the other, when you seek a deeper form of expression. Looking into the distance lets you think, in a sense you have the option to feel alone for a moment, and return to the conversation with renewed energy. When you walk with a friend you share the vista together, you think while looking at…


A commentary on Simone de Beauvoir’s novel “All Men are Mortal”

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“I loathe the thought of annihilating myself quite as much now as I ever did […] that unique sum of things, the experience that I lived, with all its order and all its randomness — the Opera of Peking, the arena of Huelva, the candomblé in Bahia, the dunes of El-Oued, […] all the things I’ve talked about, others I have left unspoken — there is no place where it will all live again”- from Force of Circumstance by Simone de Beauvoir

The Two Impossible Facts of Death

Death is more than the sudden end of our subjective experience. It is also the promise that all…


What’s worse for emissions than a whole extra person to provide for?

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“If you care about reducing emissions so much, why don’t you give up having children? What’s worse for emissions than a whole extra person to provide for?”

I’ve heard this argument multiple times this last year, whether in earnest discussions with friends who say they will not have children, or as a reductio ad absurdum argument against environmentalists’ emphasis on consumer choice.

There is a real and meaningful conclusion to be drawn, but neither of these two groups seems to have found it. …


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There are no great philosophers. There are no philosophers who deserve to be worshipped as authorities, no philosophers who should have deep meanings infused into their every utterance and scribble. There are great works of philosophy and very skilled philosophers who wrote them, but it is all too easy for us to extend past the boundaries of appreciation into a cult of personality that produces bad norms in philosophy.

Philosophy always takes place within a conversation, a conversation that is itself rooted in the particularities of a cultural and historical moment. The way that we encounter philosophy can lead to…


Simone de Beauvoir’s lessons on the difficulty of loving at a distance

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“neither time nor distance could divide them. There were, of course, streets, ideas, faces, that came into existence first for Pierre, and others first for Francoise; but they faithfully pieced together these scattered experiences into a single whole, in which ‘yours’ and ‘mine’ became indistinguishable.”[1]

Simone de Beauvoir did not think that friendship, or love, could be easy. In The Second Sex, she writes that the true nature of friendship “is that of a struggle unceasingly begun, unceasingly abolished; It requires man to outdo himself for every moment”…

Toby Tremlett

Writing about things that affect the way that I see the world. Currently hosting a philosophy podcast at: https://anchor.fm/common-room-philosophy

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