Beauvoir and the Transcendence of Natality
2008 marks the centenary of the birth of Simone de Beauvoir. This paper pays homage to Beauvoir for her faith in the possibility of human transcendence; in the face of adversity and the ambiguities of existence she did not flee from the problems of being human to seek being elsewhere. Yet Beauvoir’s concept of human transcendence remains bound to the idea that death is the pivot of human identity—an idea challenged by the philosophy of natality. The concept of natality enables us to re-affirm in a different way Beauvoir’s vision of potential human transcendence while at the same time recognizing, as she did, life’s ambiguities and conflicts.