The long tradition of pessimism in philosophy and poetry notoriously laments suffering caused by vulnerabilities of the human body. The most fa- miliar and contemporary version is antinatalism, the view that it is wrong to bring sentient life into existence because birth inevitably produces suffering. Technotopianism, which stems from a similarly negative view of embodied limitations, claims that we should escape sickness and death through radical human-enhancement technologies. In Embodiment and the Meaning of Life Jeff Noonan presents pessimism and technotopianism as two sides of the same coin, as both begin from the premise that the limitations of embodied life are inherently negative. He ar- gues that rather than rendering life pointless, the tragic failures that mark life are fundamental to the good of human existence. The necessary limitations of embodied being are challenges for each person to live well, not only for their own sake, but for the sake of the future of the human project. Meaning is not a given, Noonan suggests, but rather the product of labour upon our- selves, others, and the world. Meaningful labour is threatened equally by un- just social systems and runaway technological development that aims to replace human action, rather than liberate it. Calling on us to draw conceptual connections between finitude, embodi- ment, and the meaning of life, this book shows that seeking the common good is our most viable and materially realistic source of optimism about the future. Jeff Noonan is professor of philosophy at the University of Windsor and author of Critical Humanism and the Politics of Difference, Democratic Society and Human Needs, and Materialist Ethics and Life-Value. Most scholars have focused on The Second Sex and Simone de Beauvoir’s fiction, concentrating on gender issues but ignoring her broader emancipatory vision. Though Beauvoir’s political thinking is not as closely studied as her feminist works, it underpinned her activism and helped her navigate the dilemmas raised by revolutionary thought in the postwar period. In Emanci- patory Thinking Elaine Stavro brings together Beauvoir’s philosophy and her political interventions to produce complex ideas on emancipation. Drawing from a range of work, including novels, essays, autobiographical writings, and philosophic texts, Stavro explains that for Beauvoir freedom is a movement that requires both personal and collective transformation. Free- dom is not guaranteed by world historical systems, material structures, wilful action, or discursive practices, but requires engaged subjects who are able to take creative risks as well as synchronize with existing forces to work to- wards collective change. Beauvoir, Stavro asserts, resisted the trend of anti- humanism that has dominated French thinking since the 1960s and also man- aged to avoid the pitfalls of voluntarism and individualism. In fact, Stavro argues, Beauvoir appreciated the impact of material, socio-economic, institu- tional forces, without forgoing the capacity to initiate. Applying Beauvoir’s existential insights and understanding of embodied and situated subjectivity to recent debates within gender, literary, sociological, cultural, and political studies, Emancipatory Thinking provides a lens to explore the current political and theoretical landscape. Elaine Stavro is associate professor of political studies at Trent University. 2 0 M Q U P S P R I N G 2 0 1 8 S P E C I F I C AT I O N S May 2018 978-0-7735-5349-1 $34.95A CDN, $34.95A US, £28.99 paper 978-0-7735-5348-4 $110.00S CDN, $110.00S US, £91.00 cloth 6 x 9 280pp eBook available S P E C I F I C AT I O N S McGill-Queen’s Studies in the History of Ideas May 2018 978-0-7735-5355-2 $39.95A CDN, $39.95A US, £33.00 paper 978-0-7735-5354-5 $120.00S CDN, $120.00S US, £99.00 cloth 6 x 9 432pp eBook available Embodiment and the Meaning of Life jeff noonan A brazen defence of the good of human limitations in the face of naive technological optimism. Emancipatory Thinking Simone de Beauvoir and Contemporary Political Thought elaine stavro A sustained defence of the political importance and ongoing relevance of the ideas of the French writer, feminist, and philosopher. P H I L O S O P H Y • W O M E N ’ S S T U D I E S P H I L O S O P H Y