Lectures on Philosophy

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 26, 1978 - Philosophy - 232 pages
Simone Weil's Leçons de Philosophie are derived from a course she taught at the lycée for girls at Roanne in 1933-4. Anne Reynaud-Guérithault was a pupil in the class; her notes are not a verbatim record but are a very full and, as far as one can judge, faithful rendering, often catching the unmistakable tone of Simone Weil's voice as well as the force and the directness of her thought. The lectures form a good general introduction to philosophy, ranging widely over problems about perception, mind, language, reasoning and problems in moral and political philosophy too. Her method of presentation is a characteristic combination of abstract argument, personal experience and literary or historical reference. Peter Winch points out in his introduction to the book some of the more systematic connections in her philosophical work (and between this philosophical work and her other concerns), and makes a number of suggestive comparisons between Simone Weil and Wittgenstein. The translation is by Hugh Price from the Plon edition of 1959. Dr Price has added some notes to explain references in the text that might be unfamiliar to English speaking students beginning philosophy.
 

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User Review  - cjyurkanin - LibraryThing

The notebook of a student of Simone Weil when she taught a class at a girl's school in 1934, expanded with footnotes and explanations to the notes and regarding items unfamiliar to non-philosophy students. Weil's voice can be detected in much of the lessons. Read full review

Contents

IV
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About the author (1978)

Born in Paris, Weil came from a highly intellectual family. After a brilliant academic career at school and university, she taught philosophy interspersed with periods of hard manual labor on farms and in factories. Throughout her life she combined sophisticated and scholarly interests with an extreme moral intensity and identification with the poor and oppressed. A twentieth-century Pascal (see Vol. 4), this ardently spiritual woman was a social thinker, sensitive to the crises of modern humanity. Jewish by birth, Christian by vocation, and Greek by aesthetic choice, Weil has influenced religious thinking profoundly in the years since her death. "Humility is the root of love," she said as she questioned traditional theologians and held that the apostles had badly interpreted Christ's teaching. Christianity was, she thought, to blame for the heresy of progress. During World War II, Weil starved herself to death, refusing to eat while victims of the war still suffered.

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