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Decreation and the Ethical BindSimone Weil and the Claim of the Other$
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Yoon Sook Cha

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823275250

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823275250.001.0001

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The Extravagant Demand of Asking Nothing

The Extravagant Demand of Asking Nothing

Destitution and Generosity in “Autobiographie spirituelle” and La Connaissance surnaturelle

(p.103) Chapter 5 The Extravagant Demand of Asking Nothing
Decreation and the Ethical Bind

Yoon Sook Cha

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines the decreative aim of obligation through the contrasting poles of destitution and extravagance in the context of Simone Weil’s personal experiences. It argues that the ethical relationship between oneself and the other presumes a love that seeks to fulfill itself in the form of a withdrawal that entails the renunciation of the “I” and its egological claims to centrality and plenitude. Accordingly, decreating the “I” implies a kind of destitution that, however contradictory, underwrites one’s love of the other. Weil’s account of withdrawal in her own life – particularly in her “spiritual autobiography” which affirms impersonal being – nonetheless reinscribes the self at the scene of its depersonalization. The problematic pursued in this chapter, then, is the antinomy through which decreation unfolds.

Keywords:   decreation, depersonalization, destitution, extravagance, impersonal being, spiritual autobiography, withdrawal

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