Master Philosophy

The man

Simone Weil

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The face

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Nationality: French

The life

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  • 1909Born
  • 1943Died
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"Most works of art, like most wines, ought to be consumed in the district of their fabrication."
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"The future is made of the same stuff as the present."
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The thought of
ROGER PARKER
on 01 May 2011

I find that thought disturbing. If it is true, then it implies that Mankind has ceased to evolve; that there are no new things to learn, and no further developments to be made.
It is depressing, in that it implies there can be no improvements, and that progress will be retrograde; if things don’t get better, they must get worse, as population increases and the Earth’s reserves are depleted.
The implications are unpleasant.

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"Equality is the public recognition, effectively expressed in institutions and manners, of the principle that an equal degree of attention is due to the needs of all human beings."
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The thought of
ROGER PARKER
on 10 May 2011

A little long winded, perhaps, but “Equality” as a concept defies a simple definition. I would prefer something like “the removal of discrimination”, or perhaps “application of the same values to all”, or “granting the same rights under Law”. Weil does touch all the bases with his definition, though.

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"In the intellectual order, the virtue of humility is nothing more nor less than the power of attention."
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"Humility is attentive patience."
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"A test of what is real is that it is hard and rough. Joys are found in it, not pleasure. What is pleasant belongs to dreams."
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The thought of
ROGER
on 27 Sep 2011

Simone Weil was undeniably intellectual, but seemed to use a “scatter-gun” approach to her philosophy. Anarchist, labour organizer, sometime teacher, Christian and resistance fighter. Quite a CV, but so pessimistic! The breathtaking beauty of snow capped mountains is, unarguably, hard and rough, but it is real and not unpleasant, and joy and pleasure can be found in the viewing of it. It is durable and can be returned to. Her assessment of dreams as being the only source of pleasure is strange. She must have appreciated that dreams are not real, and once gone are gone forever.

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"Difficult as it is really to listen to someone in affliction, it is just as difficult for him to know that compassion is listening to him."
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The thought of
ROGER
on 05 Oct 2011

Some years ago I heard a very cynical re-expression of this thought, as follows:- “Dreadfully sorry though I am to hear of your predicament, Jack, I am doing very nicely. Pull up the ladder!”  That was during Harold Wilson’s Government, and I never voted Labour again!

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"For when two beings who are not friends are near each other there is no meeting, and when friends are far apart there is no separation."
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"Petroleum is a more likely cause of international conflict than wheat."
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"A hurtful act is the transference to others of the degradation which we bear in ourselves."
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"The highest ecstasy is the attention at its fullest."
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on 07 Dec 2016

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"The mysteries of faith are degraded if they are made into an object of affirmation and negation, when in reality they should be an object of contemplation."
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"The most important part of teaching is to teach what it is to know."
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"A self-respecting nation is ready for anything, including war, except for a renunciation of its option to make war."
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"It is an eternal obligation toward the human being not to let him suffer from hunger when one has a chance of coming to his assistance."
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"All sins are attempts to fill voids."
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