Freedom and Egoism in The Ethics of Ambiguity

Essay completed 2 November 2016

At this point in our class, any reconciliation between morality and existentialism seems impossible to me. If everything is subjective, how can anyone establish ethical imperatives? Why would anyone feel any obligation to others if individuals are free to determine how they live? In her 1947 work The Ethics of Ambiguity, Simone de Beauvoir confronts these questions as she considers how to approach some form of ethical process even in the midst of existentialism’s rejection of inherent moralities. Continue reading “Freedom and Egoism in The Ethics of Ambiguity”

Jinnah’s Choice: Partition and Muslim Nationhood

Image by Grady Pearson

Essay completed 14 December 2015

On August 11, 1947, Mohammad Ali Jinnah addressed the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan as the nation’s first President. The man who had become the face of the Indian Muslim community was appointed the new nation’s leader. Yet, the Pakistan he came to lead was very different from the state for which he had campaigned in his years as leader of the Muslim League. In his address, Jinnah said of the Partition of India, “A division had to take place… it will be proved… that was the only solution to India’s constitutional problem” (Jinnah). Jinnah had not always thought this way. The Partition of India as it occurred was not what he had worked to bring forth in the years leading up to 1947. The Partition of India was the only tenable choice Jinnah had after Britain’s departure, but it was far from his goal. The constantly changing claim of what Muslim nationhood meant, the structural peculiarities of the British Indian system of government, and the last-minute choice Jinnah faced led him to consent to the formation of a Muslim nation very different from the state he intended to create. Continue reading “Jinnah’s Choice: Partition and Muslim Nationhood”