Wednesday 1 January 2014

A Dangerous Liaison: De Beauvoir and Sartre. Inner Circle Seminar 203 (18 May 2014)

Jean-Paul Sartre                 Simone de Beauvoir

Carole Seymour-Jones

A Dangerous Liaison

Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre

Anthony Stadlen
Inner Circle Seminar No. 203
Sunday 18 May 2014
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This iseminar focusses on the relationship between Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de BeauvoirCarole Seymour-Jones, author of the acclaimed book A Dangerous Liaison: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre (2008), was to have conducted the seminar, but unfortunately was prevented by illness.

To explain the context of Laing and Esterson’s Sanity, Madness and the Family (1964), we have explored Sartre’s philosophy of dialectical reason. But existential thinking means, as FeuerbachKierkegaard and, of course, Sartre himself insisted, thinking that does not purport to be detached but springs from the human existence’, the being-in-the-world, of the thinker. Unless our concern is to maintain an idealised personality cult in bad faith, it matters how those who claim to be existential thinkers live their lives. In previous seminars we have discussed Heidegger’s politics; and in December Adrian Laing will take a hard look at the life and work of his father, R. D. Laing. Today, we shall discuss Carole Seymour-Jones’s devastating research findings on the way in which Jean-Paul Sartre and his necessary’ partner, his fellow philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, actually conducted their ‘contingent’ personal and political relationships.

Carole Seymour-Jones is a qualified (though non-practising) existential psychotherapist. Her other books include Painted Shadow: The Life of Vivienne Eliot, first wife of T.S. Eliot (2001), on which she based her enthralling 19 February 2012 Inner Circle Seminar on Vivienne Eliot. She is also co-editor of Another Sky: Voices of Conscience from Around the World (2007), by imprisoned and tortured writers; and chair of the Writers in Prison Committee of English PEN.

Venue: ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £116, others £145, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water and liquorice allsorts included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled

Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail:

For further information on seminars, visit:

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

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