Mystical Selfhood and Women's Agency: Simone Weil and French Feminist Philosophy

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Weil's feminist potential has been largely ignored by scholars, although Weil certainly resisted patriarchy's strictures. She was typically a lone woman in a masculine domain, both as a student of philosophy and as a labor activist. To be taken seriously and treated as equal with men, she directed attention away from her female identity by wearing plain clothing and refusing to make herself pretty. Weil drew admiration as one of the first women admitted to the prestigious École Normale Supérieure in Paris and one of the few female writers among socialist intellectuals. She was also unusual for her intense religious interests, both academic and personal, which integrated Roman Catholicism and Platonism with other pre-Christian sources. As with medieval women mystics, her religious experiences conferred authority on her understanding of God. Since her death she has become a prophetic voice challenging hierarchies in religion and society. In short, her remarkable life evidences feminist attributes because she broke societal limits on women to pursue her intellectual, political and humanitarian goals.


A. Rebecca Rozelle-Stone & Lucian Stone




New York



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The Relevance of the Radical: Simone Weil 100 Years Later

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