Although Simone Weil died very young at age 34, her essays and notebooks have been the topic of a significant volume of scholarship from a wide variety of disciplines including Religion, Philosophy, Literature, Nursing, Political Science, History, Psychology, Education, and Business. However, the last comprehensive bibliography of critical works on Simone Weil compiled by J.P. Little, dates back to 1973 with a supplement in 1979 and a small update in 1995. The diversity and range of this ongoing scholarship make an updated comprehensive bibliography critically important for those writing on Weil and her work.
Saundra Lipton, University of Calgary, and Debra Jensen, Mount Royal University have been active collaborators (till Debra’s untimely death July 15, 2012) in the compilation of a comprehensive bibliography of scholarly works on Simone Weil. The goal of this project is to provide a valuable service to scholars and students in many fields by facilitating access to Weilian resources across disciplinary, geographic, and linguistic divides. Publications worldwide have been surveyed. Over 5500 works have been discovered. This online version of the bibliography currently lists more than 5000 book, essays, journal articles, and theses.
I dedicate my continuing efforts on this project to the memory of my dear friend and colleague Debra Jensen.
University of Calgary online library of resources
Attending – patient contemplation focused on a particular being – is a central ethical activity that has not been recognized by any of the main moral systems in the European philosophical tradition. That tradition has imagined that the moral agent is primarily a problem solver and world changer when what might be needed most is a witness.
Moral theory has been agonized by dualism – motivation is analyzed into beliefs and desires, descriptions of facts and dissatisfactions with them, while action is represented as an effort to lessen dissatisfaction by altering the empirical world. In Attending Warren Heiti traces an alternative genealogy of ethics, drawing from the Platonism recovered by Simone Weil and developed in the work of Iris Murdoch, John McDowell, and Jan Zwicky. According to Weil, virtue is knowledge, knowledge is embodied, and the knower is nested in an ecosystem of relationships. Instead of analyzing and solving theoretical problems, Heiti aims to clarify the terrain by setting up objects of attention from more than one discipline, including not only philosophy but also literature, psychology, film, and visual art.
The traditional picture captures one important type of ethical activity: faced with a moral problem, one looks to a general rule to furnish the solution. But not all problems conform to this model. Heiti offers an alternative: to see what is needed, one attends to the particular being.
Warren Heiti is a Professor of philosophy and liberal studies at Vancouver Island University.
McGill-Queen’s University Press, July 15, 2021