Weil, Simone (1909–43)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DD070-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved February 20, 2019, from

List of works

  • Weil, S. (1988–) Oeuvres complètes, Paris: Gallimard.

    (The collected works.)

  • Weil, S. (1947) La Pesanteur et la grace, Paris: Plon; trans. E. Crauford, Gravity and Grace, London: Routledge, 1952.

    (Selected aphorisms from the Cahiers, often, regrettably, quoted or discussed without reference to their context in these notebooks.)

  • Weil, S. (1949) L’enracinement, Paris: Gallimard; trans. A. Wills with a preface by T.S. Eliot, The Need for Roots, London: Routledge, 1952.

    (Written in 1943, shortly before her death, this was intended both as an examination of the causes of alienation (especially among workers) in modern society and also as a blueprint for a post-war future in which individuals might enjoy a fruitful, rooted relation with society as a whole.)

  • Weil, S. (1950a) Attente de Dieu, Paris: La Colombe; trans. E. Crauford, Waiting on God, London: Routledge, 1951.

    (A collection of essays and meditations, largely but not exclusively religious. It has been the most widely read introduction to Weil’s thought.)

  • Weil, S. (1950b) La Connaissance surnaturelle, Paris: Gallimard.

    (Contains Weil’s Notebooks written in New York in 1942.)

  • Weil, S. (1951a) La Condition Ouvrière, Paris: Gallimard.

    (A painstaking diary of the time she spent labouring in factories (Alsthom and Renault) in 1934–5, with a series of texts reflecting on the experience in political and moral terms.)

  • Weil, S. (1951b) Intuitions pré-chrétiennes, Paris: La Colombe.

    (Material in Greek philosophy and its relation to Christianity.)

  • Weil, S. (1951c) Lettre à un religieux, Paris: Gallimard; trans. A. Wills, Letter to a Priest, London: Routledge, 1953.

    (A long letter addressed to a Dominican, le Pére Couturier, outlining her doubts about, and spiritual affinities with, Catholicism. Written in the autumn of 1942, ten months before her death.)

  • Weil, S. (1951d) Cahiers, Paris: Plon; trans. A. Wills, The Notebooks of Simone Weil, London: Routledge, 1956; also trans. R. Rees, First and Last Notebooks, London: Oxford University Press, 1970.

    (Fundamental for her developed religious metaphysics, though often very difficult for the interpreter.)

  • Weil, S. (1953) La source grecque, Paris: Gallimard.

    (Essays on Greek literature, also on Plato.)

  • Weil, S. (1955) Oppression et liberté, Paris: Gallimard; trans. A. Wills and J. Petrie, Oppression and Liberty, London: Routledge, 1958.

    (Contains the essay ‘Reflections Concerning the Causes of Liberty and Social Oppression’. This considers the manner in which our social development has put limitations upon, rather than enhancing, human liberty.)

  • Weil, S. (1957) Intimations of Christianity among the Ancient Greeks, chapters from 1951b and 1953, trans. E. Geissbuhler, London: Routledge.

    (Finished reviews, and the texts of talks given in the Dominican Monastery at Marseilles. Discusses Greek philosophy as a harbinger of the Christian message.)

  • Weil, S. (1959) Leçons de philosophie, Roanne 1933–4, Paris: Plon; trans. H. Price with an introduction by R. Rees, Lectures on Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978.

    (Provides insights into her earliest philosophical positions.)

  • Weil, S. (1962) Selected Essays: 1934–1943, trans. R. Rees, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    (Mostly political essays.)

  • Weil, S. (1966) Sur la Science, Paris: Gallimard.

    (Early work on Descartes, and later essays on science.)

  • Weil, S. (1970) Science, Necessity, and the Love of God, trans. R. Rees, London: Oxford University Press.

    (Essays on science and on Plato, from the 1953 work.)

Further reading

There are several other collections and anthologies; see Bell (1993) for a good list.

  • Bell, R.H. (1993) Simone Weil’s Philosophy of Culture: Readings Toward a Divine Humanity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Essays on a wide range of aspects of Weil’s thought.)

  • Cabaud, J. (1965) Simone Weil: A Fellowship in Love, New York: Harvill.

    (A fundamental survey of life and work together.)

  • McLellan, D. (1989) Simone Weil: Utopian Pessimist, London: Macmillan.

    (Oriented towards Weil’s social thought.)

  • Petrement, S. (1976) Simone Weil, A Life, trans. R. Rosenthal, New York: Pantheon, and London/Oxford: Mowbray.

    (The most comprehensive biography, by a former fellow student of Weil’s.)

  • Vetö, M. (1994) The Religious Metaphysics of Simone Weil, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

  • Winch, P. (1989) Simone Weil: ‘The Just Balance’, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Incomparably the best philosophical study, drawing out parallels with Wittgenstein.)

Citing this article:
Williams, Rowan. Bibliography. Weil, Simone (1909–43), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DD070-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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