Learning to Look:On Mysticism and Mysticisms

Wilson, Philip ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1207-3912 (2023) Learning to Look:On Mysticism and Mysticisms. In: Between Wittgenstein and Weil. Routledge, London, pp. 56-82. ISBN 978-1-032-29109-3

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This chapter addresses mysticism and argues that a reading of Simone Weil through the later Ludwig Wittgenstein can enable mysticism to be configured in new ways. Both philosophers stress the need to attend to phenomena, together with a radical pluralism, with neither thinker seeing any need to advocate dogma. As Wittgenstein remarks in the Investigations, we can say what we want, as long as we look at how things are, and then there will be some things that we will not say. Weil can be viewed as Wittgenstein’s ideal reader, and her notion of attention is examined and applied. It is important not to overlook the differences between the two thinkers, yet both offer ways of walking on the ground (as Wittgenstein described his refusal to adopt a confessional faith). We can move forward the project called for by Iris Murdoch of constructing mysticisms outside institutions, as a form of religious atheism. At a time when some writers seek to reduce mysticism to brain states, Weil and Wittgenstein show how its human face can be retained through investigating its rootedness in how we live. The chapter uses literary examples from Weil’s work and relates the debate to the current environmental crisis.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: wittgenstein–weil–mysticism–radical pluralism–murdoch–attention– environmental crisis–literary weil–religious atheism
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Area Studies
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Philosophy
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > British Centre for Literary Translation Research Group
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2023 01:13
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2023 01:13
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/93407

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