Login | Register

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


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.

Text (application/pdf)


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:M.A.
Thesis Supervisor(s):Nielsen, Kai
ID Code:2184
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 17:26
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:18
Related URLs:
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Back to top Back to top