This essay advances the idea that Simone de Beauvoir can be read as articulating a feminist art of living in her life and oeuvre. I survey influential interpretations of Beauvoir to show that this scholarship focuses on the conceptual work in her philosophy at the expense of discussing her art of living. To substantiate my interpretation of Beauvoir, I highlight a part of what I take to be her art of living—one that is connected to her reflections on the body—namely, what I refer to as her “sensualism.” By “sensualism,” I have in mind an appreciation of the body from an intimate, first-person perspective, one not derived from the body's appearance. I show how Beauvoir develops this feminist art of living by looking at The Second Sex and The Prime of Life. While The Second Sex depicts how women are often encouraged to identify with their bodies as sexual and aesthetic objects, Beauvoir's descriptions of hiking in The Prime of Life suggest a different way of living the body, one that is predicated on a sensual appreciation of the body.

You do not currently have access to this content.