Skye ClearyJul 27, 2022
How to Be Authentic
Simone de Beauvoir and the Quest for Fulfillment
St. Martin's Press 2022
Skye C. Cleary is a philosopher, writer and university teacher. In her new book How to Be Authentic: Simone de Beauvoir and the Quest for Fulfillment (St. Martin’s Press, 2022) offers an introduction to Beauvoir’s thinking about authenticity and how experience and situation shape the people we become. For Beauvoir, as an existential philosopher, we first exist and spend our lives not uncovering who we are but constructing our identity. Authenticity is the pursuit of self-creation and self-renewal. Under patriarchy women receive a set of myths that stand in the way of taking responsibility for our freedom. Through the experiences and the milestones of friendship, love, marriage, children and confronting death we have opportunity to choose who we will become. Because we live in interdependence with others, Beauvoir’s philosophy of the self and genuine living allows others to also achieve freedom in self-creation through reciprocity. Cleary has given us a lively written book drawing not only from Beauvoir’s life but her own experience in self-creation.
Lilian Calles Barger is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her most recent book is entitled The World Come of Age: An Intellectual History of Liberation Theology (Oxford University Press, 2018). Her current writing project is on the cultural and intellectual history of women and the origins of feminism seen through the emblematic life and work of Simone de Beauvoir.