Philosophical Investigations

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Volume 37 Issue 2 (April 2014), Pages 105-183

Some Reflections around the Concept of Value: On Valéry's Claim that Philosophy is Poetry (pages 105-112)


In response to Paul Valéry's claim that “philosophy is poetry,” Simone Weil set out to examine the nature of philosophical thinking. She argues that it is above all concerned with value. In the course of her argument, she lays out the grammatical differences between thinking about value, and other epistemological endeavours. These differences mean that inconsistencies are not to be avoided in philosophy, and that philosophy is not a matter of system building. In the end, she also believes that thinking philosophically requires one to possess the value of detachment, and hence a readiness to be transformed.

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