RUDN Journal of Philosophy 23(4) pp 420-429

The purpose of this article is to introduce the reader to some intellectual origins of Simone Weil’s philosophy through a summary of and comment on her Lectures on Philosophy (1978) given when she was a teacher at a girls’ school at Roanne in the Loire region of central France. The article provides a comment on Simone Weil’s Lectures on Philosophy. There is a brief Introduction followed by a summary of Weil’s life which indicates her various interest as a religious thinker, mystic, anarchist, and political activist and some of the important academic commentaries on these aspects of her life and work. The source of the Lectures on Philosophy edited by her pupil Anne Reynaud-Guérithault is then discussed followed by a detailed summary of and comment on the Lectures themselves. They are grouped under five headings which are considered in turn. These are: The materialist point of view; after the discovery of mind; politics and social theory; ethics and aesthetics; miscellaneous topics and essay plans. There is a further discussion of Simone Weil’s later philosophical thought which shows that what she published reveals classical learning and intellectual quality, but also the several antimonies with which she struggled in her thinking, the two major influences on her thought being Ancient Greece and Christianity. There is a short Conclusion and Bibliography.