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Simone Weil : a study in moral psychology and observations on religious life

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Simone Weil : a study in moral psychology and observations on religious life

Kerkhoven, John (2003) Simone Weil : a study in moral psychology and observations on religious life. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

At the heart of this thesis is the work of Simone Weil; at its centre is a critique of Iris Murdoch's The Sovereignty of Good . Murdoch was greatly inspired by Simone Weil and also wrote in the tradition of Anglo-Saxon philosophy; a thorough critique of her book therefore provides an opportunity to discuss critical concepts in Weil's work in a context meaningful to philosophers in the analytic tradition. I demonstrate the prima facie implausibility of Murdoch's portrayal of a moral agent as a psychologically isolated rather than socially situated human being; I then critique her views by appealing both to psychological evidence and to insights owing to linguistic philosophy. I show, in contrast, that on Well's conception humans are socially and politically situated thinking beings endowed with a faculty of attention and capable of consent. I further show how Weil's view of human relationships acknowledges the harm and isolation that people can experience, and only experience, as social beings, and which are constitutive of the phenomenon that she calls "affliction". As an experience of the lack of a referring context, affliction cannot be either acknowledged or named. The insight of linguistic philosophy that meaning is tied to context proves helpful to understanding this. Finally, I extend the notion of context beyond the social and argue for a four-stage schematism in the thought of Simone Weil; this schematism begins with the individual, passes on to the social world, then to the natural world viewed as necessity, and then to God

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Kerkhoven, John
Pagination:vii, 116 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Philosophy
Date:2003
Thesis Supervisor(s):Nielsen, Kai
ID Code:2184
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:26
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:25
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