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Sarah Reith with Kristana Arp

Posted by Women's Voices
Women's Voices
Women's Voices airs every Monday from 7 pm to 8 pm.
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on Friday, 10 June 2016 in Uncategorized

The night before the primary elections, I aired a conversation with local philosopher Kristana Arp, about “Bonds of Freedom,” her book on Simone de Beauvoir’s existentialist ethics. I was hoping it would help take the focus away from the infuriating minutiae about who said what about dead standing trees and who lied about the budget and whether we should trust this person or that with our collective future, or just curl up in a fetal position and cry.

I took the book and my dogs down to the river one hot day and read until my brain was gorged. Then I jumped into the cold water, set off a few rounds of dog madness, and read some more. Kristana said Beauvoir would have approved of that approach.  The fact that we are thinking beings embodied in a vessel that is vulnerable to decay and capable of joy is, according to her, the root of our moral capacities and obligations.

In this interview, we talked mostly about “The Ethics of Ambiguity,” and other essays Beauvoir wrote before “The Second Sex.” Kristana offered examples from Beauvoir’s influences and history, as well as modern instances of people working to reconcile their lives as individuals with the facts of their political situation.

Follow this link to the interview.

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Women's Voices airs every Monday from 7 pm to 8 pm.

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