The Ethics of Ambiguity


Simone De Beauvoir

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The Passionate Man Character Analysis

Whereas the adventurer takes advantage of his freedom but directs it wrongly, the passionate man directs himself toward a worthy end but attaches himself so seriously that he loses his freedom and can never move onto other ends. Caught up in the quest to possess the object of his desire, the impassioned man forgets that ambiguity is a permanent state of affairs: it is impossible to ever completely fulfill his desires. He is distinct from the serious man: while the serious man chooses externally-imposed values that have nothing to do with himself, the passionate man chooses a concrete project that involves his own individual subjectivity (for instance, a romantic relationship or artistic pursuit).

The Passionate Man Quotes in The Ethics of Ambiguity

The The Ethics of Ambiguity quotes below are all either spoken by The Passionate Man or refer to The Passionate Man . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Existentialism and Ethics Theme Icon
Part 2 Quotes

If a man prefers the land he has discovered to the possession of this land, a painting or a statue to their material presence, it is insofar as they appear to him as possibilities open to other men. Passion is converted to genuine freedom only if one destines his existence to other existences through the being—whether thing or man—at which he aims, without hoping to entrap it in the destiny of the in-itself.

Related Characters: Simone de Beauvoir (speaker), The Passionate Man
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Passionate Man Character Timeline in The Ethics of Ambiguity

The timeline below shows where the character The Passionate Man appears in The Ethics of Ambiguity. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Personal Freedom and Others
Ambiguity, Being, and Existence Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
The opposite of the adventurer is the passionate man . The adventurer achieves subjective freedom, but without directing himself to the right content, while... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
Politics, Ethics, and Liberation Theme Icon
There is maniacal passion, in which the impassioned person wants to possess the object of his passion in order to “attain being.” Everything else... (full context)
Ambiguity, Being, and Existence Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Politics, Ethics, and Liberation Theme Icon
...Beauvoir argues, one can turn their passion into genuine freedom. In fact, not only must the passionate person open up to others in order to achieve freedom, but all freedom requires acknowledging that... (full context)