Philosophy Colloquium on Friday, March 1 at 4:00 PM

Dr. Laura Hengehold to speak on ambiguities of authentic selfhood in Simone de Beauvoir


SUMMARY: On Friday, March 1, 2024, Dr. Laura Hengehold from Case Western Reserve University will give a talk entitled "Ambiguities of Authentic Selfhood in Simone de Beauvoir." Her talk will take place at 4:00 PM in the Health and Behavioral Sciences building G010. All are welcome.

The next philosophy colloquium talk will be presented by Dr. Laura Hengehold from Case Western Reserve University on Friday, March 1 at 4:00 PM in Health and Behavioral Sciences G010.  The title of her talk is "Ambiguities of Authentic Selfhood in Simone de Beauvoir," and the abstract is as follows:

Over the last fifty years, social psychologists have documented and commented on the phenomenon of "imposter syndrome" affecting qualified women and men who nevertheless feel that their professional and social recognition is unearned.  Rather than dismissing this as a neurosis, I will investigate some philosophical insights that might be lurking within this unsettling and apparently irrational feeling.  Specifically, I argue that the way "individuality" is conceptualized in relation to gender, race and other positioning characteristics in our culture constructs it as an object of competition as well as something we might lose, thereby provoking anxieties.  I use Simone de Beauvoir's novels and memoirs to explore ways in which "authentic" individuality can only be posited as an ethical ideal, even though it ultimately eludes demonstration, and to identify alternative responses to the uncanny sensation of being a character rather than being "real."  Such an exploration promises a clearer understanding of the relationship between concepts such as privacy, anonymity, and recognition, which are deeply contested in contemporary debates over technology design, reproductive freedom, and the politics of cultural visibility.  

Back to Top

Published: Monday, February 26, 2024

Last Updated: Monday, February 26, 2024

Related Articles