MONTAIGNE. The so-called psychological or empirical ethics manage to establish themselves only by introducing surreptitiously some flaw within the manthing which they have first defined. In the original helplessness from which man surges up, nothing is useful, nothing is useless. If a door refuses to open, let us accept not opening it and there we are free. It is a matter of knowing whether he wants to live and under what conditions.” -pg 15, “An ethics of ambiguity will be one which will refuse to deny a priori that separate existents can, at the same time, be bound to each other that their individual freedoms can forge laws valid for all.” -pg 18, “Freedom is the source from which all significations and all values spring. Collection of sourced quotations from The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947) by Simone de Beauvoir. The goal toward which I surpass myself must appear to me as a point of departure toward a new act of surpassing. The … So much so, that the movement toward the object is, in fact, through his arbitrary act the most radical assertion of subjectivity: to believe for belief’s sake, to will for will’s sake is, detaching transcendence from its end, to realize one’s freedom in its empty and absurd form of freedom of indifference. 61 quotes from The Ethics of Ambiguity: ‘Regardless of the staggering dimensions of the world about us, the density of our ignorance, the risks of catast... Home My Books This means that man, in his vain attempt to be God, makes himself exist as man, and if he is satisfied with this existence, he coincides exactly with himself. We could indeed assert our freedom against all constraint if we agreed to renounce the particularity of our projects. But no one would dream of considering this gloomy passivity as the triumph of freedom”, “This privilege, which he alone possesses, of being a sovereign and unique subject amidst a universe of objects, is what he shares with all his fellow-men. To re-establish man at the heart of his destiny is, they claim, to repudiate all ethics. It has no reason to will itself. But we have seen that it is one of the lies of the serious mind to attempt to give the word "useful" an absolute meaning; nothing is useful if it is not useful to man; nothing is useful to man if the latter is not in a position to define his own ends and values, if he is not free. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. But man also wills himself to be a disclosure of being, and if he coincides with this wish, he wins, for the fact is that the world becomes present by his presence in it. Every war, every revolution, demands the sacrifice of a generation, of a collectivity, by those who undertake it. They know themselves to be the supreme end to which all action should be subordinated, but the exigencies of action force them to treat one another as instruments or obstacles, as means. To abandon the past to the night of facticity is a way of depopulating the world. It is the particularity of the project which determines the limitation of the power, but it is also what gives the project its content and permits it to be set up. As long as there have been men and they have lived, they have all felt this tragic ambiguity of their condition, but as long as there have been philosophers and they have thought, most of them have tried to mask it. But the disclosure implies a perpetual tension to keep being at a certain distance, to tear oneself from the world, and to assert oneself as a freedom. And he remains at a distance; he is never fulfilled.”, “We have to respect freedom only when it is intended for freedom, not when it strays, flees itself, and resigns itself. ( Log Out /  But this does not mean that it can not justify itself, that it can not give itself reasons for being that it does not have. The Ethics of Ambiguity; Quotes Simone De Beauvoir This Study Guide consists of approximately 23 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Ethics of Ambiguity;. My contemplation is an excruciation only because it is also a joy. They hope, thereby, to surmount the ambiguity of their condition. Other Resources. It is the original condition of all justification of existence. At the present time there still exist many doctrines which choose to leave in the shadow certain troubling aspects of a too complex situation. When an effort fails, one declares bitterly that he has lost time and wasted his powers. Instead of aggrandizing the reign of the human, he opposes his inert resistance to the projects of other men. Pt. In turn an object for others, he is nothing more than an individual in the collectivity on which he depends.”, “depopulates it. To assert the reign of the human is to acknowledge man in the past as well in the future.” -pg 92, “We must try, through our living projects, to turn to our own account that freedom which was undertaken in the past and to integrate it into the present world.” -pg 93, “A freedom which is occupied in denying freedom is itself so outrageous that the outrageousness of the violence which one practices against it is almost cancelled out: hatred, indignation, and anger wipe out all scruples.” -pg 98, “Every war, every revolution, demands the sacrifice of a generation, of a collectivity, by those who undertake it.” -pg 99, “Reduced to pure facticity, congealed in his immanence, cut off from his future, deprived of his transcendence and of the world which that transcendence discloses, a man no longer appears as anything more than a thing among things which can be subtracted from the collectivity of other things without its leaving upon the earth any trace of its absence.” -pg 100, “All oppressive regimes become stronger though the degradation of the oppressed.” -pg 101, “….every authoritarian party regards thought as a danger and reflection as a crime…” -pgs 109-110, “Only the future can take the present for its own and keep it alive by surpassing it.” -pg 115, “The fundamental ambiguity of the human condition will always open up to men the possibility of opposing choices; there will always be them the desire to be that being of whom t hey have made themselves a lack, the flight form the anguish of freedom; the plane of hell, of struggle, will never be eliminated; freedom will never be given; it will always have to be won: that is what Trotsky was saying when he envisaged the future as a permanent revolution.” -pgs 118-119, “Today, however, we are having a hard time living because we are so bent on outwitting death.” -pg 120, “The notion of ambiguity must not be confused with that of absurdity. Thus, the constructive activities of man take on a valid meaning only when they are assumed as a movement toward freedom; and reciprocally, one sees that such a movement is concrete: discoveries, inventions, industries, culture, paintings, and books people the world concretely and open concrete possibilities to men.” -pgs 80-81, “Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself in surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying, and human existence is indistinguishable from an absurd vegetation; a life justifies itself only if its effort to perpetuate itself is integrated into its surpassing and if this surpassing has no other limits than those which the subject assigns himself.” -pgs 82-83, “To want existence, to want to disclose the world, and to want men to be free are one and the same will.” -pgs 86-87, “A freedom which is interested only in denying freedom must be denied.” pg -91, “One can live without Greek, without Latin, without cathedrals, and without history.


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