University of the Arts London, PhD
Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, PhD
Universiteit van Tilburg
University of Central Florida, PhD
McMaster University, PhD
University of Wollongong, PhD
Institute for Christian Studies, MA
Contemporary philosophers, wary of the vaulted metaphysical systems proposed by Enlightenment thinkers, have explored alternative avenues of doing philosophy. Unfortunately, these “new” philosophical systems often neglect their roots in ancient philosophical practice. The purpose of this thesis is to textually ascertain the ancient concept of philosophy as a way of life in the contemporary philosophical work of Simone Weil. This connection is demonstrated in two distinct yet related ways. The practical pedagogy demonstrated through biographical work and student lecture notes provide a distinct vision of her life’s bent toward practical philosophy. In addition, her Notebooks, read in light of Pierre Hadot’s interpretation of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, demonstrate the pervasiveness of this way of life in her personal textual engagement. In Weil, therefore, we find an important contemporary instance of continuing and reinterpreting the ancient philosophical practice where she finds her philosophical origin.
A thesis submitted to the faculty of the Institute for Christian Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Philosophy, Toronto, Ontario, July 2007.
University of Durham, PhD
This thesis investigates the ethics of Simone Well and Ludwig Wittgenstein. I claim that, for both Weil and Wittgenstein, ethics is not systematic or propositional: it is a discipline of attentiveness. For Well, this attentiveness is expressed through impartial respect for the needs of others. The self, which exists as a fixed point of view, interferes with the impartiality of the attention, and Weil’s idea of decreation, I argue, is a way of freeing thought from a point of view. I trace the continuity of Wittgenstein’s ethical thinking from his early to late work, and argue that, while he later rejects his Tractarian metaphysics and logical atomism, his reverence for the ineffability of value remains consistent.
University of Victoria, Thesis, 2006