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Teaching As A Moral Act: Simone Weil’s Liminality As An Addition To The Moral Conversation in Education

Mary-Zoe Bowden read

University of Central Florida, PhD

Weil, Truth and Life: Simone Weil’s pedagogy as auto-philosophical therapy of soul

Yvana Mols read

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.