1st Edition

Between Wittgenstein and Weil Comparisons in Philosophy, Religion, and Ethics

Edited By Jack Manzi Copyright 2024

    This volume explores the relationship between the philosophical thought of Simone Weil and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The contributions shed light on how reading Weil can inform our understanding of Wittgenstein, and vice versa.

    The chapters cover different aspects of Weil’s and Wittgenstein’s philosophy, including their religious thought and their views on ethics and metaphilosophy. They address the following questions: How does Wittgenstein’s struggle with religious belief match up with Simone Weil’s own struggle with organised belief? What is the role of the mystical and supernatural in their works? How much impact has various posthumous editorial decisions had on the shaping of Weil’s and Wittgenstein’s thought? Is there any significance to similarities in Weil’s and Wittgenstein’s written and philosophical styles? How do Weil and Wittgenstein conceive of the ‘self’ and its role in philosophical thinking? What role does belief play in Weil’s and Wittgenstein’s respective philosophical works?

    Between Wittgenstein and Weil will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in twentieth-century philosophy, philosophy of religion, philosophy of language, and the history of moral philosophy.

    Introduction Jack Manzi

    1. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Simone Weil, and Religious Belief Mario von der Ruhr

    2. To Speak of the Divine: Weil and Wittgenstein on Religious Grammar Jacob Quick

    3. Learning to Look: On Mysticism and Mysticisms Philip Wilson

    4. Will the Void: Wittgenstein and Weil on the Ethics of Attention Hannah Winther

    5. Struggling with the Supernatural Hugo Strandberg

    6. Weil Meets Wittgenstein Palle Yourgrau

    7. Writing (Out) The Self: Wittgenstein and Weil on Diaristic Writing Jack Manzi

    8. Affliction: Pain and the Problems of Modernity C. M. Djordjevic

    9. Wittgenstein and Weil on Manufacturing Good David Levy


    Jack Manzi completed his PhD at the University of East Anglia in 2023, with a thesis on maieutic philosophical method in Socrates and Wittgenstein. His research specialisms are in Wittgenstein, Socrates, and the maieutic method.

    "This volume correlates two figures of the early twentieth-century renowned for their rigour, genius, precocity, and the purity of their quests – betraying a certain saintliness. Intellectual fascination with Weil and Wittgenstein never seems to flag for a reason. In an era with few spiritual beacons, both manifested in their lives and thought the essence of religious authenticity. Bringing the two together helps each to stand forth in uncompromising individuality all the more sharply."

    Lissa McCullough, California State University Dominguez Hills, USA