Simone Weil

(1909-1943 / Paris)

Simone Weil Quotes

  • ''The most important part of teaching = to teach what it is to know.''
    Simone Weil (1909-1943), French philosopher, mystic. repr. in First and Last Notebooks, pt. 4, ed. Richard Rees (1970). London Notebook (written 1943, published 1950).
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  • ''To get power over is to defile. To possess is to defile.''
    Simone Weil (1909-1943), French philosopher, mystic. repr. in First and Last Notebooks, pt. 3, ed. Richard Rees (1970). New York Notebook (written 1942, published 1950).
  • ''Evil being the root of mystery, pain is the root of knowledge.''
    Simone Weil (1909-1943), French philosopher, mystic. repr. in First and Last Notebooks, pt. 3, ed. Richard Rees (1970). New York Notebook (written 1942, published 1950).
  • ''When a contradiction is impossible to resolve except by a lie, then we know that it is really a door.''
    Simone Weil (1909-1943), French philosopher, mystic. repr. in First and Last Notebooks, pt. 3, ed. Richard Rees (1970). New York Notebook (written 1942, published 1950).
  • ''Those who are unhappy have no need for anything in this world but people capable of giving them their attention.''
    Simone Weil (1909-1943), French philosopher, mystic. "Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies," Waiting on God (1950). Also see Weil's comment under "sympathy."
  • ''I suffer more from the humiliations inflicted by my country than from those inflicted on her.''
    Simone Weil (1909-1943), French philosopher, mystic. Letter, c. 1938, to author Georges Bernanos. Selected Essays, ed. Richard Rees (1962).
  • ''As soon as men know that they can kill without fear of punishment or blame, they kill; or at least they encourage killers with approving smiles.''
    Simone Weil (1909-1943), French philosopher, mystic. Letter, c. 1938, to author Georges Bernanos. Selected Essays, ed. Richard Rees (1962).
  • ''In struggling against anguish one never produces serenity; the struggle against anguish only produces new forms of anguish.''
    Simone Weil (1909-1943), French philosopher, mystic. Draft of letter to André Weil, 1940. Seventy Letters, pt. 2, no. 39 (1965).
  • ''Whatever debases the intelligence degrades the entire human being.''
    Simone Weil (1909-1943), French philosopher, mystic. Letter, March 30, 1936. Seventy Letters (1965).
  • ''The future is made of the same stuff as the present.''
    Simone Weil (1909-1943), French philosopher, mystic. On Science, Necessity, and the Love of God, ed. Richard Rees (1968). "Some Thoughts on the Love of God," (Oct. 1940-May 1942).

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