Zitate von Simone Weil

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Simone Weil

Geburtstag: 3. Februar 1909
Todesdatum: 24. August 1943
Andere Namen: Simone Weilová

Simone Adolphine Weil [ˌsiˈmɔn ˌadɔlˈfin ˈvɛj] war eine französische Philosophin, Dozentin und Lehrerin sowie Sozialrevolutionärin jüdischer Abstammung. Sie war politisch und sozial stark engagiert und hat Aktion und Kontemplation verbunden. Ihr Bruder war der Mathematiker André Weil.

Zunächst war sie eine agnostisch orientierte Gewerkschafterin und gleichwohl Kritikerin des Marxismus. Später entwickelte sie sich zu einer bekannten Mystikerin. Die Einheit von Politik und Religion gab sie niemals auf. Das Leben betrachtete sie als eine Suche nach dem Absoluten. Ihr Denken war von christlicher Mystik sowie von platonischen und buddhistischen Ansichten geprägt, darüber hinaus auch von der jüdischen Tradition, wozu sie sich aber nicht bekannte. Auf sie geht der Gedanke der „décréation“ zurück, der „totalen Selbstentäußerung des Menschen vor Gott“.

Werk

Zitate Simone Weil

„What is called national prestige consists in behaving always in such a way as to demoralize other nations by giving them the impression that, if it comes to war, one would certainly defeat them.“

—  Simone Weil

Quelle: The Power of Words (1937), p. 224
Kontext: What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war; petrol is much more likely than wheat to be a cause of international conflict. Thus when war is waged it is for the purpose of safeguarding or increasing one's capacity to make war. International politics are wholly involved in this vicious cycle. What is called national prestige consists in behaving always in such a way as to demoralize other nations by giving them the impression that, if it comes to war, one would certainly defeat them. What is called national security is an imaginary state of affairs in which one would retain the capacity to make war while depriving all other countries of it. It amounts to this, that a self-respecting nation is ready for anything, including war, except for a renunciation of its option to make war. But why is it so essential to be able to make war? No one knows, any more than the Trojans knew why it was necessary for them to keep Helen. That is why the good intentions of peace-loving statesman are so ineffectual. If the countries were divided by a real opposition of interests, it would be possible to arrive at a satisfactory compromise. But when economic and political interests have no meaning apart from war, how can they be peacefully reconciled?

„Men of the most brilliant intelligence can be born, live and die in error and falsehood.“

—  Simone Weil

Quelle: Human Personality (1943), p. 69
Kontext: If a captive mind is unaware of being in prison, it is living in error. If it has recognized the fact, even for the tenth of a second, and then quickly forgotten it in order to avoid suffering, it is living in falsehood. Men of the most brilliant intelligence can be born, live and die in error and falsehood. In them, intelligence is neither a good, nor even an asset. The difference between more or less intelligent men is like the difference between criminals condemned to life imprisonment in smaller or larger cells. The intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like a condemned man who is proud of his large cell.

„This reintegration with the good is what punishment is. Every man who is innocent, or who has finally expiated guilt, needs to be recognized as honourable to the same extent as anyone else.“

—  Simone Weil

Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation (1943), Statement Of Obligations
Kontext: Whenever a human being, through the commission of a crime, has become exiled from good, he needs to be reintegrated with it through suffering. The suffering should be inflicted with the aim of bringing the soul to recognize freely some day that its infliction was just. This reintegration with the good is what punishment is. Every man who is innocent, or who has finally expiated guilt, needs to be recognized as honourable to the same extent as anyone else.

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„It is the aim of public life to arrange that all forms of power are entrusted, so far as possible, to men who effectively consent to be bound by the obligation towards all human beings which lies upon everyone, and who understand the obligation.“

—  Simone Weil

Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation (1943)
Kontext: It is the aim of public life to arrange that all forms of power are entrusted, so far as possible, to men who effectively consent to be bound by the obligation towards all human beings which lies upon everyone, and who understand the obligation.
Law is the quality of the permanent provisions for making this aim effective.

„Rights are always asserted in a tone of contention; and when this tone is adopted, it must rely upon force in the background, or else it will be laughed at.“

—  Simone Weil

Quelle: Human Personality (1943), p. 61
Kontext: The notion of rights is linked with the notion of sharing out, of exchange, of measured quantity. It has a commercial flavor, essentially evocative of legal claims and arguments. Rights are always asserted in a tone of contention; and when this tone is adopted, it must rely upon force in the background, or else it will be laughed at.

„Humility consists of knowing that in this world the whole soul, not only what we term the ego in its totality, but also the supernatural part of the soul, which is God present in it, is subject to time and to the vicissitudes of change.“

—  Simone Weil

"Concerning the Our Father" in Waiting on God (1972), Routledge & Kegan Paul edition, p. 153
Waiting on God (1950)
Kontext: Humility consists of knowing that in this world the whole soul, not only what we term the ego in its totality, but also the supernatural part of the soul, which is God present in it, is subject to time and to the vicissitudes of change. There must be absolutely acceptance of the possibility that everything material in us should be destroyed. But we must simultaneously accept and repudiate the possibility that the supernatural part of the soul should disappear.

„It is not in a person's nature to desire what he already has. Desire is a tendency, the start of a movement toward something, toward a point from which one is absent.“

—  Simone Weil

Quelle: Prerequisite to Dignity of Labour (1957), p. 245
Kontext: It is not in a person's nature to desire what he already has. Desire is a tendency, the start of a movement toward something, toward a point from which one is absent. If, at the very outset, this movement doubles back on itself toward its point of departure, a person turns round and round like a squirrel in a cage or a prisoner in a condemned cell. Constant turning soon produces revulsion. All workers, especially though not exclusively those who work under inhumane conditions, are easily the victims of revulsion, exhaustion and disgust and the strongest are often the worst affected.

„In every sphere, we seem to have lost the very elements of intelligence: the ideas of limit, measure, degree, proportion, relation, comparison, contingency, interdependence, interrelation of means and ends.“

—  Simone Weil

Quelle: The Power of Words (1937), p. 222
Kontext: There is no area in our minds reserved for superstition, such as the Greeks had in their mythology; and superstition, under cover of an abstract vocabulary, has revenged itself by invading the entire realm of thought. Our science is like a store filled with the most subtle intellectual devices for solving the most complex problems, and yet we are almost incapable of applying the elementary principles of rational thought. In every sphere, we seem to have lost the very elements of intelligence: the ideas of limit, measure, degree, proportion, relation, comparison, contingency, interdependence, interrelation of means and ends. To keep to the social level, our political universe is peopled exclusively by myths and monsters; all it contains is absolutes and abstract entities. This is illustrated by all the words of our political and social vocabulary: nation, security, capitalism, communism, fascism, order, authority, property, democracy. We never use them in phrases such as: There is democracy to the extent that... or: There is capitalism in so far as... The use of expressions like "to the extent that" is beyond our intellectual capacity. Each of these words seems to represent for us an absolute reality, unaffected by conditions, or an absolute objective, independent of methods of action, or an absolute evil; and at the same time we make all these words mean, successively or simultaneously, anything whatsoever. Our lives are lived, in actual fact, among changing, varying realities, subject to the casual play of external necessities, and modifying themselves according to specific conditions within specific limits; and yet we act and strive and sacrifice ourselves and others by reference to fixed and isolated abstractions which cannot possibly be related either to one another or to any concrete facts. In this so-called age of technicians, the only battles we know how to fight are battles against windmills.

„The human soul has need of consented obedience and of liberty.“

—  Simone Weil

Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation (1943), Statement Of Obligations
Kontext: The human soul has need of consented obedience and of liberty.
Consented obedience is what one concedes to an authority because one judges it to be legitimate. It is not possible in relation to a political power established by conquest or coup d'etat nor to an economic power based upon money.
Liberty is the power of choice within the latitude left between the direct constraint of natural forces and the authority accepted as legitimate. The latitude should be sufficiently wide for liberty to be more than a fiction, but it should include only what is innocent and should never be wide enough to permit certain kinds of crime.

„Liberty is the power of choice within the latitude left between the direct constraint of natural forces and the authority accepted as legitimate. The latitude should be sufficiently wide for liberty to be more than a fiction, but it should include only what is innocent and should never be wide enough to permit certain kinds of crime.“

—  Simone Weil

Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation (1943), Statement Of Obligations
Kontext: The human soul has need of consented obedience and of liberty.
Consented obedience is what one concedes to an authority because one judges it to be legitimate. It is not possible in relation to a political power established by conquest or coup d'etat nor to an economic power based upon money.
Liberty is the power of choice within the latitude left between the direct constraint of natural forces and the authority accepted as legitimate. The latitude should be sufficiently wide for liberty to be more than a fiction, but it should include only what is innocent and should never be wide enough to permit certain kinds of crime.

„No combination of circumstances ever cancels this obligation. If there are circumstances which seem to cancel it as regards a certain man or category of men, they impose it in fact all the more imperatively.“

—  Simone Weil

Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation (1943)
Kontext: Anyone whose attention and love are really directed towards the reality outside the world recognizes at the same time that he is bound, both in public and private life, by the single and permanent obligation to remedy, according to his responsibilities and to the extent of his power, all the privations of soul and body which are liable to destroy or damage the earthly life of any human being whatsoever.
This obligation cannot legitimately be held to be limited by the insufficiency of power or the nature of the responsibilities until everything possible has been done to explain the necessity of the limitation to those who will suffer by it; the explanation must be completely truthful and must be such as to make it possible for them to acknowledge the necessity.
No combination of circumstances ever cancels this obligation. If there are circumstances which seem to cancel it as regards a certain man or category of men, they impose it in fact all the more imperatively.
The thought of this obligation is present to all men, but in very different forms and in very varying degrees of clarity. Some men are more and some are less inclined to accept — or to refuse — it as their rule of conduct.

„Whatever formulation of belief or disbelief a man may choose to make, if his heart inclines him to feel this respect, then he in fact also recognizes a reality other than this world's reality.“

—  Simone Weil

Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation (1943)
Kontext: The combination of these two facts — the longing in the depth of the heart for absolute good, and the power, though only latent, of directing attention and love to a reality beyond the world and of receiving good from it — constitutes a link which attaches every man without exception to that other reality.
Whoever recognizes that reality recognizes also that link. Because of it, he holds every human being without any exception as something sacred to which he is bound to show respect.
This is the only possible motive for universal respect towards all human beings. Whatever formulation of belief or disbelief a man may choose to make, if his heart inclines him to feel this respect, then he in fact also recognizes a reality other than this world's reality. Whoever in fact does not feel this respect is alien to that other reality also.

„But a war of any scope will give rise to others as formidable.“

—  Simone Weil

"Reflections on War" (1933); also in Formative Writings (2009)
Kontext: The prospects of revolution seem therefore quite restricted. For can a revolution avoid war? It is, however, on this feeble chance that we must stake everything or abandon all hope. An advanced country will not encounter, in the case of revolution, the difficulties which in backward Russia served as a base for the barbarous regime of Stalin. But a war of any scope will give rise to others as formidable.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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