[Paris]: Gallimard, . First edition. Original publisher's cloth bindings with titles to spine and pictorial illustrations of Mario Prassinos to boards. Pegasus motif endpapers. Gentle rubbing to extremities of spines; gentle bumps to corners. Front board of volume II mildly bowed. In all, a pleasing pair of this important philosophical work, which was released in a limited edition of 2,105 copies, including the present set which is one of 2,000 numbered copies on Alfama Marais paper.
One of the preeminent French existentialist philosophers, working alongside other intellectual greats such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoir made her greatest contributions in the fields of ethics, feminism, and politics. She is perhaps best known for the present work, The Second Sex, which argues that women have been historically relegated to a second class as men's 'Other,' and that this has led to systemic oppression. Drawing on Hegel and Sartre, de Beauvoir argues that women need to define themselves as subjects as opposed to accepting the objectification that is pushed upon them. "Her revolutionary magnum opus, it was published in two volumes and immediately found both an eager audience and harsh critics. The Second Sex was so controversial that the Vatican put it on the Index of Prohibited Books...Striking for its breadth of research and the profundity of its central insights, it remains to this day one of the foundational texts in philosophy, feminism, and women's studies" (Encyclopedia of Philosophy). A cornerstone work that led to the next wave of feminist thought, de Beauvoir made the key contribution of undercutting assumptions of gender essentialism and setting forward new ideas that positioned gender as socially constructed. Near Fine (Item #2869)