Simone Weil: "The Just Balance"

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 31, 1989 - Philosophy - 234 pages
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This book examines the religious, social, and political thought of Simone Weil in the context of the rigorous philosophical thinking out of which it grew. It also explores illuminating parallels between these ideas and ideas that were simultaneously being developed by Ludwig Wittgenstein. Simone Weil developed a conception of the relation between human beings and nature which made it difficult for her to explain mutual understanding and justice. Her wrestling with this difficulty coincided with a considerable sharpening of her religious sensibility, and led to a new concept of the natural and social orders involving a supernatural dimension, within which the concepts of beauty and justice are paramount. Professor Winch provides a fresh perspective on the complete span of Simone Weil's work, and discusses the fundamental difficulties of tracing the dividing line between philosophy and religion.
 

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Contents

The Cartesian background
5
The sensations of the present moment
18
La simple perception de la nature est une sorte de danse
32
Language
48
Necessity
60
Equilibrium
77
Completely free action
90
The power to refuse
102
Geometry
133
Incommensurability
147
Beauty
164
Justice
179
A supernatural virtue?
191
Notes
212
Bibliography
228
Index
231

The void
120

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