chapter  7
40 Pages

Power

In her early writings Weil is concerned with the complexities of the operations of power.

Her awareness of power and of the ways it pervades the social body constituting human

experience in ways that render it inaccessible to control is part of what establishes a

continuity in her writings. It is this property of the operation of power that gave Weil an

early sense of the inadequacies of a Kantian conception of morality-however bound she

remained to it in crucial respects-located as it is in the tenet that rational beings live in a

condition of freedom that provides for the possibility of moral decision. Weil could not

refuse to notice that any capacity for freedom we have is cut across by the presence of

power. She was therefore concerned to articulate a conception of the nature and

consequences of power.