Essays

The Occult Mind of Simone Weil

Simone Kotva read

This article argues that Weil’s interest in occult and esoteric subjects such as Gnosticism and Egyptian mystery religion was not an eccentric sideline to an otherwise ‘Christian’ mysticism but emerged necessarily out of her philosophical method, which, quite independently of those texts where Weil deals with esoterica, displays that pathos of hiddenness so characteristic of occultism: the notion, expressed especially clearly in her late work, that philosophy is the search for a truth hidden from the eyes of ordinary persons and accessible only to those able to endure the ordeals required to gain access into its mysteries. In the second part of the argument, I show that Weil’s ‘occultism’ was not an isolated phenomenon but symptomatic of broader trends among intellectuals at the time.

Philosophical Investigations, vol. 43, nos. 1-2, pp. 122-141.

Mathematics and the Mystical in the Thought of Simone Weil

John Kinsey read

On Simone Weil’s “Pythagorean” view, mathematics has a mystical significance. In this paper, the nature of this significance and the coherence of Weil’s view are explored. To sharpen the discussion, consideration is given to both Rush Rhees’ criticism of Weil and Vance Morgan’s rebuttal of Rhees. It is argued here that while Morgan underestimates the force of Rhees’ criticism, Rhees’ take on Weil is, nevertheless, flawed for two reasons. First, Rhees fails to engage adequately with either the assumptions underlying Weil’s religious conception of philosophy or its dialectical method. Second, Rhees’ reading of Weil reflects an anti-Platonist conception of mathematics his justification of which is unsound and whose influence impedes recognition of the coherence of Weil’s position.

Philosophical Investigations, vol. 43, nos. 1-2 (January-April 2020), pp. 76-100.

God Comes to Her: A Kantian Reflection on Evil and Religious Experience in St. Teresa of Ávila and Simone Weil

Elvira Basevich read

Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 1-22

The Power to Say I. Reflections on the Modernity of Simone Weil’s Mystical Thought

Marc De Kesel read

Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society, pp. 165-181