Posts Tagged Camus

Nagel and Camus on the Absurd

Regular visitors of my blog will know my affinity for Albert Camus. In my opinion Camus had an unparalleled grasp of the human condition. Few have been capable of matching his lucidity, quality of thought, and fidelity to reason – though his views have from time to time been challenged. In 1971, Thomas Nagel wrote […]

In Search of Meaning (Part 3/3): Relative Rebellion

This post follows the previous two entries (part 1, part 2) exploring the human desire for meaning and its natural flow into Camus’ notion of rebellion. Rebellion emerges from the rebel’s growing awareness and sensitivity to forms of injustice, slavery, or rational murder. To do nothing is to acquiesce to this state of affairs, or […]

In Search of Meaning (Part 2/3): Rebellion

The unanswered question of human meaning gnaws at the collective unconsciousness like an open wound begging to be stitched. Lucid reasoning led us to the full scope of this dilemma – but it must also note its limits: it cannot reconcile the irreconcilable and one must not ‘forget’ what it has uncovered – human absurdity. […]

In Search of Meaning (Part 1/3): Absurdity & the Limits of Reason

In a four-part series of previous posts I have tried to offer a sketch of Camus’ concept of absurdity (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4). Before reading the following, I might recommend that new readers first visit those introductory posts on the topic.   Absurdity Revisited We can attain some measure of […]

Absurdity (Part 4 of 4): Living with the Absurd

The discovery of the absurd will often lead to one of two reflexive responses. The first entails a kind of negative leap into suicide and despair. The second involves a more common and subtle positive leap, where an underlying anxiety about the human dilemma presumably causes one to ‘forget’ the starting point – the place […]

Absurdity (Part 3 of 4): The Positive Leap

I noted in a previous post how Camus was critical of intellectuals who had discovered the absurd, only to seek refuge or escape by creating some transcendental truth or value. After determining that nothing in the world has purpose or meaning, they go on to find purpose or meaning in it; something is created out […]

Absurdity (Part 2 of 4): The Negative Leap

Camus was not the first to come to the conclusions thus far described – Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, Sartre, and others less known, have also followed lucid reason to arrive at the ‘waterless deserts’ of the absurd… … but how eager they were to get out of them! At that last crossroad where thought hesitates … […]

Absurdity (Part 1 of 4): A Starting Point

Few understood the concept of the ‘absurd’ as intimately as Albert Camus, whose thoughts are most clearly outlined in his 1942 essay, The Myth of Sisyphus. For Camus, there is no question more crucial than that of life meaning: “I see many people die because they judge that life is not worth living. I see […]