Against History: A Lesson from Simone Weil

Palle Yourgrau read


“At the heart of Weil’s argument against history resides a lesson she tried over and over again to teach those who would listen, a lesson we today need specially to heed. The lesson concerns the fundamental question of whether the meaning of the world, as one might put it, or its value, or its significance, can be found within it. That it can is the message of so-called humanism, a child of The Enlightenment, the view that the key to our destiny lies within us. Call that view immanentism, in contrast with transcendentalism, or if you prefer, the horizontal vs the vertical perspective, or, perhaps most perspicuously, naturalism vs. supernaturalism. On this question, one cannot avoid taking sides.”

iai News, July 18, 2017