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“Pleasure and Joy in the Work”: Using Simone Weil in the Classroom

Vance Morgan read

Richard Rorty once wrote that inspired teaching “is the result of an encounter with an author, character, plot, stanza, line or archaic torso which has made a difference to the [teacher’s] conception of who she is, what she is good for, what she wants to do with herself: an encounter which has rearranged her priorities and purposes.” In a teaching career more than three decades long, no author has influenced me more profoundly as a teacher and as a human being than Simone Weil. She has changed how I think about myself, my relationships, the world around me and ultimately about what transcends me. And this could not help but change how I am in the classroom. This essay is a reflection on how Simone Weil has changed my life, both in and out of the classroom.

Philosophical Investigations, vol. 43, nos. 1-2, pp. 8-18.

“‘To Make Known this Method’: Simone Weil and the Business of Institutional Education”

Christopher A. P. Nelson

in Rozelle-Stone, A. Rebecca & Stone, Lucian, eds., The Relevance of the Radical: Simone Weil 100 Years Later, New York: Continuum, pp. 76-90

Simone Weil’s ‘Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God’: A Comment

W.J. Morgan read

The purpose of this article is to provide a comment on Simone Weil’s brief but seminal essay ‘Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God.’ It complements an earlier one on Weil’s Lectures on Philosophy. The essay was sent via a letter to her friend and mentor, the Catholic priest, and Dominican friar, Father Joseph-Marie Perrin O.P. It set out her belief that school studies should provide the individual pupil or student with an education in the value and acquisition of attention. This, Weil believed, would be of fundamental value when reaching out to God through prayer. Such a capacity for attention would also enhance the student’s general academic and social learning providing a basis for authentic dialogue with others, and not only teachers and schoolfellows. The article introduces her as a religious philosopher, explains the origins of the essay, and Weil’s friendship with Father Perrin, who was her Christian religious mentor, examines the text itself, considers some critical commentaries, and assesses its relevance to the philosophy and practice of education today.

RUDN Journal of Philosophy, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 398-409

“An Approach to Simone Weil’s Philosophy of Education Through the Notion of Reading

Kazuaki Yoda

Studies in Philosophy and Education, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 663-682